When Jesus sleeps

Sometimes I think Jesus is sleeping through my storm.  I know in my heart and in my spirit that He knows me, and loves me and sees me, but in the middle of the storm, as the waves crash over me, sometimes no matter how hard I look for him, I don’t see Him.

I’m studying and collecting Bible passages on prayer, for a virtual retreat I’m putting together here on my blog.  This, combined with circumstances arising in my life and in my family right now, has kept my brain very busy in the wee hours of the night/early morning.  Today, I was thinking about Jesus’ prayer time at Gethsemane, and how He had brought along his disciples to watch with him while He prayed, only to find them snoozing instead.  Jesus confronts Peter, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” and warns that the because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, that they ought to watch and pray so that they will not fall into temptation.  He leaves them to continue praying, only to return and see that they had fallen asleep again.  This time there is no indication of conversation before the Bible tells us he left them to continue praying again.  When he is finished, he returns to them to find them still asleep and questions again, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.”

Now, I will admit, my brain jumps and fires strangely before coffee, and this morning was no exception.  I remembered another time that someone got upset at another for sleeping during a stressful time.  The disciples were out in the middle of the sea in a boat with Jesus, when the Bible tells us a furious squall came up and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Here are the disciples, in the same boat with Jesus, watching their boat fill with water, when they realize Jesus is just sleeping through it!  When they woke him, their accusingly questioned him “don’t you care if we drown?”  Jesus then rebuked the wind and commanded the winds to be still, then in perfect Jesus fashion, answers the disciples question with a question of his own.  “Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?

It’s interesting to look at these stories side by side.  In both stories, there is a storm raging.  In both stories someone is sleeping through it, and someone is not.

Jesus sleeps while the disciples worry and fret.

The disciples sleep while Jesus prays and sweats.

When I am fretting, and it appears Jesus has fallen asleep, I have to remember, if He’s sleeping, it’s because He is the Master…even the wind and the waves obey Him.

7 comments on “When Jesus sleeps

  1. Wow, what an insight. Perhaps blogging before coffee can be a good thing. 🙂
    As I think on this juxtaposition of stories, it comes to me that usually Jesus is cool, calm, in charge, working miracles, knowing just what to do and how to do it (of course) but this story shows his human nature along with his divine nature. The comparing of the 2 stories just emphasizes this more.

  2. Thanks, Kat. You may be right, or it may be as simple as God’s grace abounds 🙂 I’ll brew it just in case 😉

    You’re right, we get a good glimpse into His humanity here. I love that!


    • Thanks Lara. Isn’t it crazy how God’s Word is new every morning? I don’t know how many times I’ve read those accounts and never put them together, then one morning, out of the blue, there it is. God is good!


      • Yes, when I was studying forgiveness since I have such a hard time understanding it, I read the scripture about forgive 7 times 70 or whatever the exact number. It was when Jesus was talking to Peter about forgiveness. Anyway, one thing I read made me look at that verse – which I have heard a 1,000 times differently. It said that it may take 7 x 70 to forgive a single act – that it could be that hard. I probably am not explaining it well but it comforted me. It made me realize the effort involved in forgiving is tremendous. More so, Jesus knew that and believes we are capable of it.

        So I guess that’s why it is so important to study scripture (which I really don’t) but it does enlighten when we open ourselves to the light.

      • Lara, you may never know in this life how much your words meant to me this morning. I struggle with forgiving, and can totally relate to the idea that it may take 490 times for the decision to forgive to kick in and be complete. I’ve tried putting things in a God box, or burning little pieces of paper…none work, because my heart wants to put that person in a box or hurt them…my heart has not been changed toward that person. That is why we need a spirit transformation…from the inside out.

        I am enjoying this discussion, I may have to blog about forgiveness and process some more of this out.


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