Contemplating Jesus


Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

The sea of Galilee is not really a sea: it is more like a large lake, yet it was – and still is – the most imposing body of fresh water in Israel.  Fisherman still fish upon it, mending their nets as Jesus found them doing over 2000 years ago.   When Jesus called his first apostles to follow him, and they “dropped their nets”  what was it about him that made them so spontaneously obey?  His physical appearance, the sound of his voice, or the peace of his presence or all three?  Whatever it was, they set sail on a new career and an unknown destiny.

Jesus was in and out of those fishing boats a lot as he travelled round Galilee.  He used the boats to escape being crushed by crowds and he used them to catch up on his sleep which is what he was doing during the famous storm.  We are told in Matthew 8: 25-28 that “the boat was being swamped by the waves” and that his followers feared it was going under, and they would perish and drown.  The fact that Jesus slept through what could be viewed as a serious calamity, indicates not only the state of his inner calm but the depth of his trust and knowledge of the harmonic workings of spirit and matter.

Bulgarian teacher and philosopher Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov wrote in his book Cosmic Moral Law of such concurrence with natural laws.   These laws, he explains, are on three levels, the lowest being physical nature, the more subtle involving thoughts and emotions, and the third, the highest, that binds the other two,  belonging to  the “divine world.”  Aivanhov claims that only the rarest of human beings rises above the first two levels and is “no longer subject to their laws. He becomes so pure, so luminous and powerful, so perfectly in harmony with the spirit that it is the turn of nature to obey him and whatever he does.”  (p. 128)

During the storm, Jesus was woken by his disciples with pleads of “Save us!” His question, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?’ indicates a priority of attitude and the necessity of wholehearted trust in Divine Providence.  But there again, it is understandable that if Jesus was in the boat when all this was happening, those who were frightened would spontaneously turn to him after bearing witness to many of his miracles.

Jesus’ rebuke of the winds and sea was obeyed with a succeeding “dead calm” – the extreme opposite of water’s natural inclination in turbulent conditions.  Such a synthesis of opposites brought harmony to both people and the natural environment.  In the see-saw of emotions and fears and rough weather Jesus, the man, was sleeping.  When awake, he confirmed his place in the realm of the Divine by smoothing the rough and harmonizing the outer with the inner stillness he possessed.   His disciples’ amazed exclamation,

“What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?” can perhaps be only answered by Jesus’ initial question of them.  Belief calms the waves of our fears and faith is the only still point in all our storms.


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