Jesus Calms The Storm


‘Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:23-27

One of the reasons Jesus chose fishermen was because of their easy access to boats, they may have used a specific boat for Jesus’ ministry. Remember that most of the disciples were hardened fishermen and they would be used to being in storms.

Jesus consistently demonstrated His authority by doing things which were totally beyond human capacity. In this case, while the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee by boat, Jesus fell asleep on a cushion, Mark 4:38.

A great storm arose, and the disciples panicked, these hardened fishermen were frightened, this must have been some storm! Mark 4:37.

The Storm

Barclay, in his commentary, says the following.

‘In one sense this was a very ordinary scene on the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is small; it is only thirteen miles from north to south and eight miles from east to west at its widest. The Jordan Valley makes a deep cleft in the surface of the earth, and the Sea of Galilee is part of that cleft. It is 680 feet below sea level. That gives it a climate which is warm and gracious, but it also creates dangers. On the west side there are hills with valleys and gullies; and, when a cold wind comes from the west, these valleys and gullies act like gigantic funnels. The wind, as it were, becomes compressed in them, and rushes down upon the lake with savage violence and with startling suddenness so that the calm of one moment can become the raging storm of the next. The storms on the Sea of Galilee combine suddenness and violence in a unique way.’

Bruce, in his commentary, says the following about the boat.

‘It was covered, hidden, the waves rising high above the boat, breaking on it, and gradually filling with water.’

The Calmness

In desperation, they awoke Jesus saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ Jesus then turned to the disciples and reproved them for their lack of faith, Matthew 14:22-36. He got up and calmly rebuked the wind and the sea, Psalms 65:7, the word, ‘quiet’ means to muzzle, Mark 4:39.

Notice that Christ calmed the storm with one word, what a difference one word can make. When our lives are filled with turmoil, one word from Christ can change everything.

The storm ceased, Mark 5:1-17 / Luke 8:26-37. At this time, all things were under the care and control of Jesus because He was head over all things, John 13:3 / John 17:2.

Though they had seen Jesus perform many miracles, they were always amazed by each new one. They said, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’ Psalm 89:8-9 / Psalm 93:4.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘It was then plain that every area of existence was totally under our Lord’s authority. The spiritual world, the physical world, time, life, and death were, and are, utterly subject to his will.’

Jesus demonstrated authority over the creation that He created. Once we recognise that Jesus is God and the Creator of all that exists, Colossians 1:16, then we will realise that nothing is outside the power of Jesus to control. For this reason, it is faith in Jesus that brings peace of mind, Psalms 4:8 / Acts 12:6 / Philippians 4:7.

Considering the things that the disciples had already seen Jesus do, their doubts about His ability to quiet the storm are astonishing. They had seen Him heal multitudes of people, cast out demons and prove Himself equal to any task at hand.

Suddenly, they were in despair because of a storm on the sea. Obviously, they didn’t really think Jesus could solve this problem because they were amazed when He did.

In the presence of Jesus, Christians should never fear danger, disease, or death. With Jesus Christians are safe because we have a great emotional calm in our lives, Psalm 65:7 / Psalm 89:9 / Luke 4:39.

When the storms of life come our way, we must never think as the disciples did, that Jesus didn’t care. He may have been asleep but that didn’t mean He wasn’t aware of what was happening around Him.

Sometimes the best thing to do amidst life’s storms is simply stop, be still, and know that God is there and present, Psalm 46:10.