The Stilling of the Storm of Galilee

by Thelma Jenkins

Wherever Jesus went, there were always hunderds of people crowding round Him because they wanted to hear His teaching. He told them wonderful things about God that they had never heard before. He was not dull and boring, like the Scribes and Pharisees, but everything He said was interesting. So they came, not only to listen, but because they hoped to see more miracles. Do you know that little chorus:

"By blue Galilee Jesus walked of old; By blue Galilee wondrous things He told. Saviour, still my teacher be, Showing wondrous things to me As of old by Galilee, Blue Galilee."

Do you know why the Lord Jesus did miracles? It was not only because He was kind and loving, and cared about the people, but it was to prove something. It was to prove that He was the Son of God. This miracle that I am writing about will show us something very wonderful.

Although Jesus was truly the Son of God, He was really and truly a Man, and sometimes He would feel very, very tired. This is very important to remember, because when we are tired, we are very likely to sin. You know when you are tired, you often feel "ratty"! Grown-ups are the same - if they are tired, they will answer crossly, or say, "Leave me alone. Don't bother me. Go away, I'm tired." But we know that the Lord Jesus never sinned, so He would not have said those things even when He was very, very tired.

One evening, when He had been teaching and healing for a long time, and the people kept coming and coming, He was very tired. At last, He sent the people away to their homes and said to one of His disciples (possibly Peter), "We will go in your fishing boat and row over the water to the other side of the Sea of Galilee." There He would be able to rest and be quiet, because there were no people over on that side.

So the disciples followed Jesus and He went to the end of the boat, put His head on a little pillow (or cushion) and fell fast asleep at once, because He was so tired. When they started it was quite calm but, as they rowed across the sea, which was several miles wide, the wind began to rise and the waves became rougher, but the disciples weren't bothered. Several of them were fishermen, quite used to storms and rough seas. But this storm grew worse and worse; the waves were so high they were crashing into the boat and it began to fill with water. At last, even the fishermen disciples began to be afraid. They had never seen a storm like this one. We are not told in the Bible, but I think that perhaps Satan was behind this storm. He would have been watching the Lord Jesus all the time; perhaps he was hoping the Lord would sin when He was very tired, but He did not. Now Satan saw that He was fast asleep, and perhaps he thought if he could make a dreadful storm he might be able to drown Him, and then there wouldn't be any Saviour to save us from our sins. The Bible doesn't say this, but I think it was quite possible.

Anyway, it was the worst storm these men had ever seen and it must have been very bad to make them afraid, because they had lived all their lives on the Sea of Galilee - but it wasn't "blue Galilee" any more, it was all very dark and frightening.

Where was the Lord Jesus all this time? He was still fast asleep at the end of the boat, with His head on a cushion. The water must have been making His clothes wet, yet still He went on sleeping, which shows how very tired He was. At last, the brave fishermen woke Him up - perhaps they had to shake His shoulder - and they cried to Him, "Lord, save us. We are perishing! We shall all drown in a minute." I wonder what they thought He could do? He wasn't a fisherman.

No - but He was the Son of God! He woke up and said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men with little faith?" Then He stood up in the rocking boat, with the water rushing over His feet, and He said to the wind and to the raging sea, "Peace! Be still!" And immediately, the storm stopped - just like that! It didn't gradually calm down, getting less and less, but it stopped being a storm at once, the moment the Lord Jesus spoke; there was a great calm - that means everything was still and quiet.

Then the disciples were afraid in a different way. Before, they had been afraid of drowning but now, as they looked at the Lord Jesus, they realised that He must truly be the Son of God. He must be someone very Special if He could stop a raging storm with two or three words. They were amazed and they said, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

If you went down to the sea when the waves were coming in and you said, "Stop! Don't come any further!", would the waves obey you? Do you think if the Queen said that to the waves they would obey her? No, because she is only an ordinary person like ourselves. But the Lord Jesus is God; it was His voice that had created the winds and the sea, at the very beginning of Creation. They knew He was their Master, so they had to obey His voice when He spoke.

If you have a dog and he has been trained to obey you, if you say, "Sit!" he will sit; and if you are at the edge of the road and you say, "Stay!" he will stay. He does that because he knows you are his master and he must obey your voice. It was the same with the Lord Jesus. The winds and the waves knew that He was their Master, their Creator and so they had to obey him.

So we see, by this wonderful miracle, that the Lord Jesus proved that He was the Son of God. What were the words the disciples said?


Copyright © Family Matters 1997