Miracle 13:
                                        Stilling the Storm
                  

INTRO : How do react to the unexpected events, and emotions, of life?  Have you ever felt that the Lord repeatedly places you in difficult or surprising circumstances to teach you a lesson. Perhaps you have wondered when the difficulties would stop. I’m sure that this is the way the disciples felt about boats, every time they got in a boat with the Lord it was test time. 

 

1.       Whether they are hauling in nets full of fishes, or

2.       Sitting in bitter disappointment after the crucifixion of Christ fishing

3.       Or fearfully crossing the sea of Galilee in a storm allowed by God.

 

Every time they are out in a boat with Jesus and He performs a miracle, it is a miracle that deals with discipleship.  It is not a miracle for the multitudes. These miracles repeatedly show the wisdom and power of Christ and the need of men to their wisdom and power and trust God.

I. OBSERVATION

A. Passage Selected: Mark 4:35-41 35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

Matthew 8:18-27        18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. 19 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 21 And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22 But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. 24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. 25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 

Luke 8:22-25  22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. 23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.  

B. Progression Stated: Geographical and Chronological

1.                   Sea of Galilee – The Sea of Galilee is a 13-miles-long and seven miles wide at its broadest point. In the Old Testament this lake is called Chinnereth (Num. 34:11; Josh. 12:3; 13:27); in the New Testament it is variously identified as Gennesaret (Mark 6:53), Tiberias (John 21:1), and Galilee (John 6:1). It lies 695 feet below sea level with the Jordan River flowing through it. [1]

2.                   This is called by four different names in Scripture: the “Sea of Chinnereth,” or “Chinneroth” (Heb. kinneret, “harp-shaped”; NIV is “Kinnereth”), the shape of the sea (Numbers 34:11; Joshua 12:3; 13:27); the “lake of Gennesaret” (Luke 5:1), the name of the extended plain  adjoining the lake; the “Sea of Tiberias” (John 6:1; 21:1), the name used by the natives at this time—Bahr Tarbariyeh; and “Galilee” (Matthew 4:18; 15:29). The lake is about sixty miles  from Jerusalem and at one time was thirteen miles long and eight miles wide at its greatest extent, although land reclamation programs have since reduced its length. Its surface is about 700 feet below sea level, and it is about 150 feet deep at its lowest point. The Jordan River flows through it, providing much of its water supply, but that is augmented by springs in the lake floor. The fresh waters of the lake are clean, and they have always been well stocked with a  variety of fish. Several towns dotted its shores in NT times, but almost all of them (Bethsaida,
Capernaum, Tiberias, etc.) stood on its northern and western shores because the eastern slopes  rise more precipitously from the water. The sea was the highway for considerable traffic between Damascus and the Mediterranean, and the customhouse duties from which Christ took Matthew were of no little import. Hot springs along the western shore, especially at Tiberias, brought multitudes to be cured. The high hills surrounding the below sea-level water combined with abrupt temperature changes contributed to sudden and violent storms on the lake, as various NT passages indicate (see, e.g., Mark 4:35-41; 6:45-52; John 6:16-21). It was on and about this lake that Jesus did many of His wonderful miracles. Eighteen of the thirty-three recorded miracles of Christ were probably done in the immediate neighborhood of the Sea of
Galilee. In the city of Capernaum alone He performed ten of these. R.K.H. [2]

3.                   Storm - lailaps (2978), “a hurricane, whirlwind,” is rendered “storm” in Mark 4:37; Luke 8:23; 2 Pet. 2:17, rv (kjv, “tempest”). See tempest  [3]

C. Presentation Summarized:

1. Context

a.    In the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Jesus has spent a full day teaching and preaching the parables. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus has just healed Peter’s mother-in-law and many others and then there is a break and Matthew records that a crowd had gathered.

b.    All three gospels record the healing of the demoniac after this, so these are parallel accounts of the same miracle.  What we can gather from the context is that Jesus has been very busy and was in great demand.  He was worn out.

2. Content

a. On the shore before the storm  (35-36)

1.                   Notice Jesus says, "Let us go over to the other side." I think that statement is important.  His intent is to go to the other side, not to go to the middle of the lake and drown.

2.                   It says " they took him even as he was " "Just as he was" probably means he was exhausted.  After all, He fell asleep in the boat. He needed to rest after a long day of preaching. Here we see His humanity emphasized.

3.                   But in the midst of fatigue the Lord never stopped thinking about His disciples. In the midst of his exhaustion, Jesus wants to teach the disciples a lesson. 

b. In the boat during the storm  (37-39)
(1) Storming

a.          If you take a bucket of water and blow across the top of it, it doesn’t disturb the water too much.  If you take a plate of water and blow across the top of it, it disturbs the whole thing. 

b.          Sea of Galilee is very shallow and very large.  Just a little wind will make 6 foot waves.  Imagine in the darkness of night as the winds gustily move from the desert into this shallow basin. According to ISBE a storm there would be 10 to 12 foot waves at least. ISBE vol. 2, p. 1166. 

c.          It is a very bad storm when professional sailors are afraid and think they are going down.

 

                (2) Effects of the storm on the disciples

a.       Fearful – Mark 4: 38,40

b.       Desperate, marveled – Mat 8:

c.        Afraid, wonder – Luke 8:22

(3) Sleeping

a.       A good picture of the theanthropic man. 

b.       Theanthropic means god-man.  His humanity is seen in his sleeping after an exhausting day. 

c.        But whenever we see a clear picture of His humanity, His deity is not far behind and that is what we see next.

(4) Saving

a.       He could sleep through the storm, but not through their cries.  That is comforting to know.

b.       Matthew’s account tells me that He rebuked them before he rebuked the wind.  I would rather have the theology lesson after the trial is over, but I’m convinced that we learn more during the trial than after. 

c.        He rebuked them for their absence of faith.  This is not saying they are not believers.  They just aren’t walking by faith or trusting in him for that situation.

c. In the boat after the storm  (40-41)

a. In Mark’s account he rebukes them after the miracle. 

II. INTERPRETATION

·          We see his humanity, deity, compassion, and power.  I think this is a good illustration of the truth of Hebrews 4:15 which says, "

·          Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. ."   

·          And when one of the disciples asks Jesus, "Do you not care that we are perishing?" It makes me wonder if this is perhaps Peter asking the question (after all, he was the more bold and vocal) and if this is perhaps what he’s thinking about when he writes 1 Peter 5:7 which says, "Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."

·          They are terrified and amazed at Jesus’ power.  When they say, "What kind of man is this?  I think this fits with the major outline of Mark in which only the readers and the demons really know who Jesus is. It is not until Mark 8:29 that the disciples make the statement, “Thou art the Christ.” So, although they know Jesus is special, that He is a great prophet, that He may be the Messiah, they don’t fully understand who He is.

·          The purpose of the miracle was to reveal the true nature of Jesus Christ.  He is both God and man.  They thought more of his humanity than of his deity in this circumstance.  They did come to him for help, they woke him up, so what is the problem.  What was their lack of faith?  They were afraid. What is there to fear?  If God wants you to die, should you be afraid?  God will give you the grace to die. Fear is the result of a lack of faith.

III. APPLICATIONS

·          As a servant of the lord I’m not exempt from the storms of life.

·          Experiencing the trials is not an indication of God’s discipline or disfavor.

·          God has power even over nature and my circumstances.

·          Fear is the result of a lack of faith.  It is a failure to believe that God is good and God is in control. Although we all believe that Jesus is God, do we live every day like we really believe that He is really in control of every situation?   Sometimes we say, “God was so gracious” when something good happens like He’s not gracious all the time. Sometimes we say something like, "Where was God when I needed Him?"  When if we were taking a theology exam in the classroom, we know that God is omnipresent. That is a human description of our experience, not a statement of good theology. 

·          The purpose of trials is the perfection of faith. James 1:4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

·          The result of trials should be a greater understanding of who God is.

 

Closing : What would the disciples have done if they had had faith?  If they had believed that their Lord was in control and that He cared for them? 

1.          They would not have awakened the Lord (it was obvious that he needed rest). 

2.          They would have known that the boat would not sink with the Lord in it. 

3.          And they would have known that the storm was not going to last forever. 

4.          They would have been able to ride out the storm and waited.

 

When we face difficulties, we need to have faith in God’s goodness and God’s control.  The storms He sends our way are to build our faith.  The storms He sends our way will not last forever.  That is not to say they may not last the rest of our natural lives, but one day, all the storms will be over. Every time you are out in a boat with Jesus and you face a trial that trial is His way of increasing your faith.  It is not trial for the multitudes, it has been custom made for you.. These trails repeatedly show the wisdom and power of Christ and the need of men to their wisdom and power and trust God.

 

Psalm 29 A Psalm of David. 1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.  2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.   3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.  4The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.   5The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. 7The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.  8The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. 9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.   10The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. 11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace[4]

Eph 1:15 15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,  20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.[5]

Rev 21:1-7 1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.[6]

 

One day all the storms will cease and we will dwell safely in the presence of the Lord. So endure these light afflictions

 

2 Cor 4:8-18

8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.



[1]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.

[2] BIBLIOGRAPHY: D. Baly, The Geography of the Bible (1957), pp. 197-98; Y. Aharoni, The Land
of the Bible
(1979), pp. 111-15, 188-90, 197-98.

 

[3]W.E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s complete expository dictionary of Old and New Testament words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[4]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

[5]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

[6]The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.