Wind, Waves, and Him Who is Not Afraid

Peter and Andrew, James and John, and possibly Thomas and Bartholomew (who was also called Nathaniel), were fishermen.

In Mark 4:37-41 the Bible records that Jesus and His disciples entered a boat in order to cross the Sea of Galilee, but that their crossing was imperiled.

A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 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. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Men who had fished these waters since childhood were terrified. It must have been an incredible storm.

Jesus, however, was not afraid. He was, in fact, enjoying a much-needed rest, and His disciples had to rouse Him to action. When they did so, He spoke. At His word the wind ceased, the waves calmed, and the fear that had gripped the hearts of His disciples shifted. Whereas before they had feared wind and waves, now they feared Jesus, asking, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Too often preachers succumb to the temptation to ask congregants, “What is the storm in your life that Jesus can overcome?” Meaning well, they suggest that marital difficulty may be your storm, parenting may be your storm, or financial want may be your storm. But Jesus did not rebuke an empty bank account; He rebuked winds and waves that were so strong that veteran fishermen were overwhelmed and feared for their lives. Those who have suffered the brunt of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and those who are braced for the coming destruction in Florida, are not facing a metaphorical storm; they are facing winds and waves that carry the power to level homes and end lives.

As much as we might wish, Jesus did not calm the winds and waves in order to promise every future generation that in every future storm He would calm every future wind if only you would pray to Him. He displayed His power over the storm so that you would see clearly that the wind knows its Creator and the sea knows its Lord. They obeyed Him when He spoke them into existence; they obey Him still.

More than that, Jesus rebuked the wind so that His disciples would ask, “Who is this man?” He spoke peace to the sea so that they would eventually answer, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

And He is.

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