Summary: Jesus calms the storm on the Lake. This is no ordinary thing, it is extraordinary. How will the disciples react and why did they react the way they did during the storm? From now on how will we react?
Jesus is extraordinary, how do we respond? Luke 8:22-25
He is Lord over all of nature and creation.
The Message paraphrase of the Bible tells it this way.
22-24 One day he and his disciples got in a boat. “Let’s cross the lake,” he said. And off they went. It was smooth sailing, and he fell asleep. A terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake. Water poured in, and they were about to capsize. They woke Jesus: “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
Getting to his feet, he told the wind, “Silence!” and the waves, “Quiet down!” They did it. The lake became smooth as glass.
25 Then he said to his disciples, “Why can’t you trust me?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered and stammering, “Who is this, anyway? He calls out to the winds and sea, and they do what he tells them!”
Who is this he even commands the winds and the water, and they obey him? This is a fairly extraordinary situation. Jesus wakes up having heard the disciples concern for their lives and with one command the storm is silent. This is not something that you hear about at all. Storms don’t just stop. The Sea of Galilee is 166 kilometres square; it is 21 kilometres long and 13 kilometres wide. It is Israel’s largest fresh water lake. This is a massive body of water! Incidentally the Otago harbour is 21 k’s wide from the heads down to South Dunedin but nowhere near as wide as the Sea of Galilee. Tell me can it cut up rough on the Otago harbour? Rough enough to sink your boat?
So Jesus tells the disciples that they are heading over to the other side of the Lake, a thing here to remember is that some of these disciples were very familiar with the Lake, they had formerly been fishermen on the Lake and we know that Jesus had called Andrew and Peter and James and John from fishing this lake to follow him. These disciples had a good knowledge of the Lake, and the state of how things happened on the Lake. I believe that when this storm came up it was a beut. The disciples were genuinely in fear of their lives and that it was not a storm that those who had been fishermen believed they could survive. This group of men, some of these disciples were men who had lived practically their whole lives on the Lake.
These guys were in genuine fear of their lives.
A question arises, did they know and I mean really know who Jesus was? At this stage I’m not sure that they did, we have this great advantage of retrospect and we have read the Bible. We know that Jesus has power over sin and death. We know that he defeated these things and healed the blind and made lame people walk, that he cast out demons and stilled the waves, not only that he walked on water.
We can look back and see that he did these things. We know the Spirit of God at work in our lives, living with us and in us so that we can reflect Him and show others what the Kingdom of God is through our faith and actions. But these disciple blokes were still in training.
If the disciples really understood who it was that said, “Let’s head over to the other side of the Lake”, would they have been afraid? If they really understood who it was sleeping while they were panicking, if they really understood who it was they woke and included in their concern for drowning would they have been afraid.
The boat is being swamped, they are in great danger.
I like this next bit, “Master, Master (they call Jesus Master because he’s their Rabbi, their teacher), we’re (they include Jesus in the doomed) going to drown.
Jesus takes a bit of a look at the situation and Yeah / Nah, he tells the wind to stop it and the raging waters to settle down. Sorted…calm as!
He then questions the disciples, “Where is your faith.” I wonder if there was a few embarrassed looks on the boat.
In fear and amazement the asked one another, who is Jesus, he tells the wind and waves what to do and they do it.
Remember this is no little pond, this is a massive body of water. The winds have been funnelling down from the hills and mountains that surround the lake, cutting up into massive seas, huge waves, these winds came from somewhere, and they stop. Naturally waves don’t just stop the instant the wind stops, because they come from somewhere also. But they do stop at Jesus command. This is 116 square kilometres of water calmed at Jesus command. The wind that stirred up this storm falling to the lakes location of 211 metre below sea level off hills and mountains some of which are 1400 metres above the Lake, stopped at Jesus rebuke.