The Story And Moral Lessons Of Jesus Calming The Storm
BIBLE TEXT: MATTHEW 8:23-27, MARK 4:35-41, LUKE 8:22-25,
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
The story of Jesus calming the storm is such a fascinating one. The book of Mark chapter four started with a lot of teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then in the evening, they set out to go to the other side of the lake and in the process, they encountered the storm. Jesus was asleep and unperturbed with the weather. He was resting and at the same time also testing. We get to know this because of His response to the disciples’ fear and their lack of faith. The reaction of the disciples to the storm makes one wonder if they had actually walked with Jesus and seen His miraculous works. However, their reaction revealed their frailty as humans. Despite the fact that the disciples had spent a lot of time with Jesus and seen him perform many miracles, you would think that they would have a lot of faith. But in their humanity, it became evident they had more faith that the storm would destroy them than in Jesus saving them.
However, in the entire raging storm, Jesus is still faithful and merciful. Just a call on Him was all the disciples needed to save the situation and calm the storm.
We will be looking at this story under the following outlines:
1. CALMING THE STORM: MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE
A storm is a violent disturbance of the atmosphere with strong, raging winds and rain, thunder and lightning. This was the situation the disciples of Jesus found themselves; and knowing that they were former fishermen, they understood the gravity of the predicament they were in.
The miracles of Jesus played significant roles in His earthly ministry. They show His divinity, Messiahship and mastery over all creatures, the storm inclusive. Being God the Son, He had the power to issue decrees to the seas and waves. “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and shall your proud waves be stayed’? (Job 38:8-11).The raging of the storm was so great and tempestuous that it made the disciples nervous and desperate. It was out of this desperacy that they cried out to Jesus to save them from drowning. Being fishermen themselves, they already knew the moodiness of the sea when a storm arises on it.
Looking at the story of Jesus calming the storm from Mark’s account, we will discover some added details. One of these details is that it states that the wind/storm was so great to the extent that it was forcing water into the boat. This put them at danger of drowning. Another color added by the account of Mark’s gospel is the question which the disciples asked Jesus. Out of hysteria, they asked Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” This question could mean the disciples asking Jesus why He was sleeping at such a perilous time, or ‘Jesus, we are in such great danger and all you can do is sleep!’
2. WAYS JESUS CALMS THE STORM OF OUR LIVES
As humans, there are times when storms arise in our lives. Most times, these storms are used to get our attention. The pertinent question here is, how do we respond when faced with storms? Do we have more faith in the storm than in the saving power of our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we cast our gaze on Jesus or on the storm?
Whenever we are faced with a storm, Jesus calms the storm in a number of ways. These are:
- Jesus as light in the darkest storm: The Bible in Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” In Psalms 27:1, the psalmist says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? We can see from the above scripture that in the storm of life, Jesus can lighten our path and walk us through the storm.
- Jesus calms our storm using other Christians: Most times during turbulent and stormy periods, God can minister peace to us using other brethren in the faith. It’s wise to seek counsel from another older Christian who has been there, done that. Their advice is tested and true.
iii. Jesus calms our storm by being with us: Nothing is more reassuring to know that a trusted and reliable friend is with you right in the midst of the storm. God assures us in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Furthermore, in Isaiah 43:2, God promises to be with us when we pass through the waters and rivers, and even through the fire. He never leaves us or forsakes us even in our darkest hour, when all seems to have forsaken us.
3. LESSONS FROM JESUS CALMING THE STORM
There are a lot of lessons to learn from the story of Jesus calming the storm. Some of these lessons are:
- Storms make us stronger and help us build a deeper level of trust in our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He does not fail us even if He doesn’t stop the wind and waves as He did for the disciples on the lake. Just like the three Hebrew boys refused to compromise their faith, asserting that even if God does not deliver them, they would still not bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image; we should also rely on God to save us from every storm that rises against us.
- Storms help us understand the ways God relate with us. He relates with us in stages which starts with teachings from Jesus, then comes testing through storms of life, and if we do not give up, He is waiting to do astounding miracles in our lives at the other side of the whole scenario.
- God is ever faithful and merciful: Despite the faithlessness of the disciples, Jesus still rose up to their rescue when they called on Him. In like manner, God is faithful and merciful to calm our storm despite high level of faithlessness and doubt.
Do we have more faith in our storm than in the mercy and grace of God? There is no situation that Jesus is unable to attend to. If the fear in us is stronger than our faith, we can turn to God and He will teach us because His mercy endures forever.
Feeding daily on God’s word will build your faith and calm the storm raging within you.
- Recounting the past wonders of God in our lives can help us to build and increase our faith in Jesus rather than in the storm. Whenever we are faced with a storm, our first response is to call to remembrance His past acts of wonders.
- Call on Jesus whenever you find yourself in the storm. Just like the disciples called on Jesus and He calmed the storm that threatened their peace, we should also learn to call on God in prayers when we encounter a life storm.