Now it happened, on a certain day… (Luke 8:22)
Every one of us can look back and remember “certain” days that stand out as remarkable—some in positive ways, and some that registered as unsettling.
I remember December 7, 1941. I was seven, playing in the park with my little sister, when our father came running at full speed across the grass to get us. Not till we got home did I learn that my folks had just heard the radio announcement that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. We lived in Oakland, California, and there was a question as to if there might also be an invasion of our West Coast. You remember a day like that.
I remember February 25, 1945, when I went to the altar at the Oakland Foursquare Church and, as a ten year-old-boy, asked Jesus to come into my heart. I remember March 19, 1950 when I again went forward and accepted His call on my life. And I’ll always remember September 1, 1952 when, as a college student, I first set eyes on the pretty girl with the long hair who would eventually become my wife.
I could add another September date—September 11, 2001. Everybody remembers that day. There are milestone days we live through that have drama and impact, making them days we will never forget.
Not long ago, I was prompted to look closely at this small phrase in the Book of Luke, “on a certain day…” There are phrases like this in the Bible that we might pass over as transitional but they are actually pulsating with significance. The word “certain” here means precisely that. It can mean one day or a season of time, but it most definitely does not mean “some day” or “any day.” God’s Word is not referring to “just another day.” And that’s what I’d like to speak into your heart, dear one. That no day is “just another day.”
The Greek word used here is the word for a birthing—that a new day is literally being born in the purpose of God. The Bible says His mercies are new every morning—that’s plural— a distinct package of mercies given to us each day, and they endure forever!
For the disciples, that “certain day” was a profound one that engraved itself in their minds not only for what was about to occur, but also for what had just taken place. Jesus had just told the parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15) in which He gives them a picture of God’s Word as “seed” and all the things that can happen to it—it can fall by the wayside, be trampled, devoured by birds, withered, or choked. Or it can fall on good ground, taking root and yielding a great harvest.
After giving the disciples that parable, Jesus then goes with them to demonstrate it in real time on occasions that will follow. It’s the day He will heal the demoniac of Gadara and the woman with the issue of blood. It’s the day that Jairus’ daughter will be raised from the dead. Jesus speaks and things happen. They will witness the ultimate authority of His words over the powers of darkness. And the disciples will learn to receive the Word of God on this “certain day” in the manner that you and I are to receive it in all our days, and in the face of whatever storms we find ourselves in.
Let’s read what took place:
Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.”
And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Luke 8:22-25)
Remember, in the boat with Jesus are His disciples, would-be learners who have just been taught the parable of the Sower. But when the storm rises up, they fall apart, terrified, and rush to Jesus in abject fear. The Lord speaks to the wind and waves, and the tempest instantly stops! Please hear this—the winds of a storm can stop, but the waves can go on for hours, even days. The disciples are awestruck because they have heard Him speak to Creation, and they realize He is the Creator come among them.
And Jesus turns to them and asks, “Where is your faith?”
Why did He say that? He wasn’t referring to their faith in Him but to His word—the “seed” He’d just sown into their lives. For when they boarded the boat, Jesus had announced, “We’re crossing over to the other side.” Yet in the middle of the storm, the disciples were hollering, “We’re going under!”
Friend, when Jesus says you’re crossing over, there’s not going to be any going under. He’s given His word, and He’s in the boat!
For a disciple of Jesus Christ, there is no such thing as an uncertain day because you can be certain of this: He is with you. You have asked Him into the boat of your life. The Lord calls all of us to a certain day. Not all days are packed with the personally unforgettable, but every day makes an inescapable deposit in the personally eternal—that is, the me that I am becoming.
And of that, dear one, I am certain!
Copyright © 2009, 2010 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries
Our gift of this teaching article by Pastor Jack Hayford is made possible by your gracious support of the ministry. Partner with us online or call toll-free 1-800-776-8180 to donate (within the U.S.).