Summary: The account of Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8:22-25 will teach us about the power of Jesus over nature.
We are studying the life of Jesus as Dr. Luke recorded it in The Gospel of Luke. Luke’s purpose was to show that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He wanted his readers to understand that Jesus was God in human form who had come on a mission to rescue those for whom he would give his life.
Luke was a master historian and theologian. He carefully assembled his material about Jesus so as to paint a vivid picture about the person and work of Jesus. There are all kinds of connections between pericopes so that his readers might have a very clear understanding of who Jesus really is.
In chapter 8 Luke recorded two parables by Jesus: the parable of the sower and the parable of the lamp. Jesus wanted his disciples to know that there are different responses to his message. Some do not respond at all. Others respond, but fall away because of testing, or cares, or riches, or the pleasures of life. Finally, there are those who respond to Jesus’ message by hearing him responsively and obeying him demonstrably.
In the next pericope, the narrative we are going to examine today, Luke wanted his readers to notice what happened when Jesus’ disciples experienced a personal, real-life test.
By now the disciples had been with Jesus for about 16 months. They sat at Jesus’ feet and heard his message about the kingdom of God. They witnessed first-hand many astonishing miracles that Jesus had performed. Surely, one would expect them to trust Jesus fully as God in human form. No doubt they would have nodded approvingly about hearing Jesus responsively and obeying him demonstrably – even in times of testing.
Well, let’s see how well Jesus’ disciples did when they found themselves at the center of a very personal test.
Let’s read about Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8:22-25:
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” (Luke 8:22-25)
My maiden sailing experience was around the Cape of Good Hope about 33 years ago. We started in completely calm waters. But, as we rounded Cape Point the wind picked up and soon we were in very rough waters. It was quite a frightening experience for a novice sailor like me.
However, my maiden sailing experience – and I should add that it is my only one – pales in comparison with what the disciples experienced with Jesus one night on the Sea of Galilee.
The analysis of Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8:22-25 will teach us about the power of Jesus over nature.
Let’s use the following outline:
1. The Setting (8:22-23a)
2. The Storm (8:23b)
3. The Screams (8:24a)
4. The Command (8:24b)
5. The Questions (8:25)
I. The Setting (8:22-23a)
First, let’s look at the setting for the miracle.
Luke said in verse 22a that one day Jesus got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.”
Matthew, Mark, and Luke recorded this miracle in each of their Gospels. Therefore, we should pay attention to it because the Holy Spirit has recorded it three times for our edification. And so by noting what has been recorded in each Gospel we get a fuller picture of what took place that one day.
Mark tells us that they actually sailed “when evening had come” (Mark 4:35). Matthew tells us that “when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave the order to go over to the other side” (Matthew 8:18). We know that Jesus had an exhausting ministry schedule. And so, in order to get a brief rest before the crowds caught up with him, he ordered his disciples to go across to the other side of the lake.
John MacArthur tells us the following about the lake:
Known today as Yam Kinneret and variously called in Scripture the Lake of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1), the Sea of Chinnereth (Numbers 34:11; Joshua 13:27) or Chinneroth (Joshua 12:3), and the Sea of Tiberias (John 6:1; 21:1), the Sea of Galilee is a large (approximately thirteen miles long by seven miles wide) freshwater lake that is the most significant geographical feature of Galilee. The Jordan River, which arises from several sources near Mt. Hermon and flows into the lake from the north, is its main source of water. At about 680 feet below sea level, the Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on the planet.