Reading through the gospels you may come across the story of Jesus calming the storm a couple of times. There is a lot within this story that we can learn and apply to our own lives.
Why is Jesus calming the storm important? The story of Jesus calming the storms shows us God is with us even when we do not realize it. Jesus is in control. He is with us in the storms.
The story of Jesus calming the storm is found in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. They are all accounts of the same story but give us different perspectives on what was going on. They all encourage us today in our walk with Christ.
Jesus Calms The Storm
This story starts after Jesus had preached to a crowd gets in a boat the disciples follow him and Jesus says that they will go to the other side of the lake.
The disciples are simply following Jesus wherever he goes. As they traveled across the sea of Galilee a great windstorm occurred that there was water coming into their boat.
While this was going on Jesus was asleep in the stern. The disciples proceeded to wake up Jesus and tell him what was going on.
They wake him up letting him know they are in danger and perishing because of the storm. Jesus then gets up and rebukes the wind and the waves and they stop.
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?’
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The disciples are amazed but then Jesus asks them where their faith is. The disciples are afraid and wonder who could control the wind and the waves.
Before the disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee the disciples heard Jesus teach about the kingdom of God through parables and even heal people.
Following their adventure on the sea of Galilee, they land in Gerasenes heals a man with a demon.
Throughout these passages, they got to see a lot of what Jesus was doing during his earthly ministry and saw his power demonstrated, but still had little faith.
When Jesus died and rose again, they then saw and realized that Jesus is the Messiah, who is fully God and fully man.
The Significance Of The Story
This story has a lot of importance for us today. It is incredible to see the peace that Jesus had in this situation and the complete turmoil that the disciples were in.
Jesus was at peace and not worried about the storm around them. There was no reason for the disciples to be afraid.
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.Matthew 8:24
The wind and the waves that surrounded the disciples were huge and scared all on board except Jesus.
We know that Jesus knew what was going on from the beginning because he reprimanded the disciples for their lack of faith. They did not trust in Jesus and all he could and would do. At that moment, the disciples had more fear of the storm than trust in God.
This story highlights some key components in our walk with Christ. There are trials that we come against, but we must trust in God and His sovereignty over the situation.
Both the disciples and we who read this story today can learn from this story the significance of our faith in Jesus in times of trial and can grow in our confidence in the fact that God is in control, and we can trust in him.
The Disciples Response
Many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen. They made their living off the water by catching fish. They were bound to have come across storms now and then, but this one was a large one that the disciples were afraid for their lives.
In the moment of the storm the disciples should have realized that Jesus had power in many other situations giving them more faith in God’s provision in the circumstances, but they still panicked.
The disciples responded probably like we would have. In our finite human minds, we don’t see past the moment. All the disciples saw at that moment were looming waves that threatened to take away their future.
And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’Matthew 8:25
They did not come to Jesus asking him to calm the waves or get them to safety, but simply because Jesus was sleeping and the disciples thought they were all about to die at sea.
They were doing meaningful and fulfilling work for Jesus and in their limited view, they did not know if they would survive the storm to live out their purpose.
Jesus told them before they left that they would reach the other side, but by the time the storm hit, they forgot his words and panicked. At that moment is when they should have remembered Jesus’ words and character the most.
The Character of Jesus Shown Through His Calming Of The Storm
Jesus came to the earth 100% man and 100% God. Because of this Jesus experienced what other humans experience. We recognize Jesus’ humanity when he sleeps in this story.
Like everyone else Jesus needed rest. He was working a lot that we read about traveling, teaching, and healing. Jesus needed rest and sleep on this boat.
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.Mark 4:38a
We get to understand Jesus’ other nature of being 100% God as well because we read about Jesus’ authority in this passage. When Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves and they stop, Jesus is showing his divine control over nature.
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.Mark 4:39
Before Jesus even gets onto the boat he knows what will happen, he is omniscient, which means he knows all things, past, present, and future.
When Jesus got on that boat, he knew the storm was coming but got on anyway because he also had confidence in his heavenly Father as the disciples should have had.
Jesus was trusting in his heavenly Father, unlike the disciples during this trip. It can not be easy to sleep in a boat in the middle of a storm, but Jesus was sleeping because he knew he was safe and did not have to worry.
Jesus sleeping could have been an indication to the disciples that all would be fine. If Jesus was sleeping and trusting in His father, surely they should be able to as well.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we can be reminded that he faced the same earthly struggles as us, but his trust in the father is complete, we should strive in that direction, being able to rest in the Lord as Jesus did in the boat.
Jesus’ nature of being 100% God and 100% man, is made clear in this story. We see him needing rest as any person would and His divinity as he calms the storm.
Not only is Jesus’ divinity clearly shown in the way He calms the storm but we also see throughout scripture the control that God has over all of creation.
First and foremost, God created the world. We read in Genesis 1 that God spoke and created the universe and everything in it. Then throughout the Old Testament, there are verses describing God’s power over the waters.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.Psalm 104:6,7
Parallels Between Jonah & Jesus Calming the Storm
This story of Jesus also parallels the story of the prophet Jonah in the Old Testament, but with a different result.
Jonah was a prophet for God, but when God sent him somewhere he did not want to go, he took a boat in the other direction. Jonah ended up falling asleep at the bottom of the boat but was eventually woken by those in the ship.
Then when they realized they could not escape the storm and Jonah was the cause of it, Jonah was thrown overboard and the storm quieted.
A giant fish takes Jonah to where he needs to go
These stories although very different, both involve the calming of the sea by God, and both Jesus and Jonah sleeping while the storm rages around them.
Like when Jonah was thrown into the waves and the rest on the ship survived the storm. Jesus was eventually our sacrifice, because of His death, we live.
What We Can Learn From Jesus Calming The Storm
The disciples choose fear before they choose faith, but today we have the opportunity to choose faith over fear.
Even in the small things in life we can have the assurance that God is in control.
We can resonate with the disciples in this situation, there are moments we would have faith and not be worried, but there have all been times we choose fear over faith.
There are many people today, including Christians who take the stance that the world is falling apart, and although it may be, we have hope in God.
Our hope is in God.
God is with us, even in the middle of a storm.
Since many of the disciples were fishermen, when the storm started they probably kept calm knowing what you do during a storm, it was when it got out of control, they figured they would die out there.
In their moment of despair, Jesus came in and calmed the storm.
Jesus asked the disciples where their faith was, but he worked a miracle despite their lack of faith.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
God is working in our lives right now whether we know it or not. He has called us to him and is working in whatever occurs in our lives for good.
We don’t want to forget that God is there, and he does know all and have all power. He is in control even when everything seems out of control.
Trusting Jesus In The Middle Of Storms
How can we take active steps to trust God in the middle of the storms in our life today? There are many ways in which we can grow in our relationship with God which will help us to increase in our faith and trust in God in times of trouble.
Scripture memory can help us remember God’s promises to us. The disciple forgot what Jesus had spoken to them, He had told them they were going to cross to the other side, but in the middle of the storm, they forgot.
We do not want to forget the words God speaks to us. Guard His Word in your heart.
Find passages and verses that speak to you and encourage you, then when you need to remember what God has to say to you, you will know.
Spending time with God and in his word should be a daily occurrence, his word will give us strength and wisdom for each day. Just like a relationship you may have with a person you need to put time and effort to improve and grow the relationship.
Having a conversation will build your relationship in any area, and that includes building your relationship with God. A conversation with God includes prayer, being still, and reading the Bible.
Prayer is a time for you to talk to God and bring your requests and thanksgiving before him. Exercising your faith in God starts with praying and trusting God with your everyday needs big or small. It is amazing to pray and see God work in amazing ways.
But he [Jesus] would withdraw to desolate places and pray.Luke 5:16
Simply spending time in God’s word will grow your relationship with him. Scripture is the inspired word of God.
We may never get to hear God’s voice audibly when looking for a solution in life, but through scripture, we can read what God has to saw and be comforted by his words.
Much like this story, we can learn and grow in our trust in God through this passage. After reading what Jesus did for his disciples in the middle of a storm, we can be more confident that God will work in amazing ways in our life as well.
When Jesus calms the storm in the New Testament, we are encouraged today that God is also with us in the middle of storms of life.
Today, as disciples of Christ, we should also strive to spend time with God and grow in our relationship, and trust in Him.