Day 8 – The storm on the lake

Jesus has been very busy all day. He has taught people from a boat on a lake. Now he needs to rest, away from the crowds who follow him.

Bible reading: Mark 4:35–41

Jesus stops a storm

35 On that same day, in the evening, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘We should go across the lake to the other side.’ 36 So they went and left the crowd behind. Jesus was already in the boat. So the disciples took him across the lake. Some other boats also went with them. 37 Then a strong wind began to blow across the lake. Water began to go into the boat and fill it. Soon the boat was almost going under the water. 38 Jesus was in a comfortable place at the back of the boat. He was sleeping. The disciples woke him. They said to him, ‘Teacher, it does not seem to matter to you if we die here in the water!’

39 Jesus woke up and he spoke strongly to the wind and to the water. ‘Be quiet!’ he said. ‘Stop!’ Then the wind and the water became quiet again.

40 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘You should not be afraid like that. You should believe in me.’

41 Then the disciples were very afraid and said to each other, ‘Who is this man? Even the wind and the water obey him.’

Mark 4:35-41 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Reflection

The Sea of Galilee is not actually a sea, but a big heart-shaped lake, about 21 km long and 11 km at its broadest point. It looks peaceful, but the surrounding cliffs make sudden fierce storms quite common. It is not only boats that get tossed around like a child’s toys. The nearby modern car parks have warnings about enormous waves flooding cars! On this occasion, the fishing boat looked as if it was going down. And the friends of Jesus, tough fishermen, were filled with fear.

Jesus was with them

Jesus was with them and, tired after his teaching ministry that day, he was asleep in the place of honour, on the captain’s cushion. He must have been extremely tired. But they woke him with cries for rescue, ‘Don’t you care that we are going to die?’ He woke up and spoke severely to the wind and the waves as though they were living things.

As a matter of fact, Jews, most of whom never went into or on the sea, considered the lake as a sort of enormous, wild creature. So Jesus spoke to it in this way: ‘Peace. Be still.’ And to their absolute amazement, the wind ceased and there was perfect calm. It’s not surprising that they were amazed and said to one another, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’

Of course, they were astonished. But they will have remembered the many places in their holy books which insist that it is God who controls the winds and the waves.

Who is this? Even the wind and waves obey him.

They sense that the divine, creative power which made the world is active in this Jesus. That thought is almost unbelievable for them!

But don’t forget how this would have affected the first people to read about it. They will also have rejoiced to think that whatever storms of life they are going through – sorrow, loneliness, persecution – Jesus is with them and he is in control.