Author: Ron Graham
The text for this lesson is Mark 4:35-41 which tells a true story of how Christ stilled the storm that broke suddenly on lake Galilee.
¶“35[Jesus had taught the people in parables.] On that day, when evening came, he said to his disciples, 'Let's cross over to the other side of the lake'. 36So they left the crowds and took Jesus away in the boat just as he was. Other little boats were also with him. 37A stormy wind arose, and waves drove into the boat. It was filling up. 38Jesus was in the stern where he had gone to sleep on a pillow. The disciples woke him and cried, 'Teacher! We are perishing! Don't you care?' ” (Mark 4:35-38).
¶“39Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still'. The wind stopped. There was complete calm. 40Then Jesus said to the disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Why have you got no faith?' 35But they were exremely scared. They said to one another, 'Who can he be that even the wind and waves obey him?' ” (Mark 4:39-41).
Jesus was crossing the inland sea of Galilee by boat. His disciples were with him. Jesus had gone to sleep. There arose a fierce storm that threatened to sink the boat. The disciples woke him up crying, "Lord, save us, we are perishing!"
Jesus immediately calmed the storm and the waves of lake Galilee with three words: "Peace! Be still!"
This miracle of the stilled storm at Galilee illustrates the power of Christ. However we can also see some important truths about ourselves illustrated by the disciples who were in the storm-tossed boat with Jesus.
When the lake of Galilee was calm, the disciples felt safe enough in the boat. Yet when the storm arose the boat offered them little security. We all have "boats" —material things we rely on.
These things may include health, homes, jobs, etc. Life is, as it were, a crossing of the sea of Galilee “to the other side.” Our "boats" won't help us much in the storms of life.
The truth is, "A person’s life does not consist in his possessions" (Luke 12:15).
Even the king of Babylon in all his splendor was to hear the taunt, "How you have fallen O star of the morning!" You have been cut to the ground!" (Isaiah 14:4,12).
So do not trust in material things. They are not as secure as they might seem. The person who trusts in earthly things has little security (Matthew 6:19-21).
When the disciples woke Jesus, he said, "Why are you so afraid? Why so little faith?" At first that sounds silly. It was obvious why they were afraid.
The waters of Galilee were raging all around. Yet since they were looking to Jesus to save them, they were showing some faith and hope in him. Why then were they in so much fear for their lives?
It was because of the littleness of their faith. On another occasion the disciples said, "Lord, increase our faith" (Luke 17:5).
A man once asked Jesus to heal his son. "If you can heal him, take pity". Jesus replied, "What do you mean, “if” I can?" The man said, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:14-27).
We can all identify with the problem of having a little faith but needing much more faith than we have. So be aware of the littleness of our faith, and seek increase of faith from Jesus Christ. For "The righteous shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).
Not only was the sea in a frenzy, but the disciples were not remaining calm. Jesus was as calm as he could be —he was asleep! Jesus can offer us peace, Just as he gave his disciples peace on lake Galilee.
We can receive from our Lord "the peace of God which passes understanding" (Philippians 4:7). So do not be afraid of the storms of life, but be in awe of the power of Christ. Let him be our protector. Let him still our storms and fears. (Psalms 23:1,4, Hebrews 13:6).