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Summary: The Lord of all, the Creator, sent Jesus Christ to give us internal peace just as He calmed the Lake of Galilee.

Reflections in the Lake of Galilee


John 6_16

John 6 recounts a time when Jesus is going to a

mountain to pray, while the disciples are on the Lake

of Galilee in a boat. A strong wind sweeps over the

lake raising high waves and making rowing difficult.

In the 4th watch (according to Mark), Jesus comes to

them across the water.

John’s account indicates that the disciples saw Jesus

walking on the water. In Mark’s account the disciples

are terrified, thinking a ghost is coming across the

water. Jesus says “It is I, do not be afraid.”

A similar event is recorded also in Matt 8:24. Jesus

is sleeping in the boat, which is being swamped by the

waves. A disciple awakens him saying, “Don’t you

care that we perish? We’re drowning here!” Then Jesus

speaks peace to the waves, and the sea becomes calm.

This power over nature amazes the disciples, but

restores their tranquility.

Think of this scene the way you think of a stained

glass window or a painting. It is a word picture,

very like a parable. Think of the sea as the

environment around us, the world we live in: life.

Think of the boat or of the disciples as our lives.

The storms are beating hard on us. Our little craft

is being swamped. We’re going down for the third

time. Lord don’t you care? We’re drowning here! We

pray. The Lord blesses us with calmness, He is strong

enough to save.

A late 19th and early 20th century author, Joseph

Conrad wrote in “Heart of Darkness,” words about the

sea that reminded me of these passages from Mark and


Both Conrad and Herman Melville use the sea as an

allegory for our existence, and speak of life as

having meaning and events fraught with moral

and everlasting implications.

Joseph Conrad wrote, “There is nothing mysterious to a

seaman unless it be the sea itself, which is the

mistress of his existence and as inscrutable as Destiny.”

Peter, James, and John lived by and on the water.

Jesus’ words about the "Water of Life" and His being

with them on the troubled sea no doubt were used in

their messages as they comforted a church under


They could have spoken words like "Cast all your cares

on Him, for He cares for you" and would have said them

with conviction because of their own vivid memories of


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