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 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