The Gospel of Matthew: Stormy Weather.

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:23–27 (ESV)

Prior to Jesus’ conversations with a scribe and another disciple about the cost of discipleship (Matt. 8:19-22), He had given orders, presumably to the twelve disciples to go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 8:18). This would have been done by boat (Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25).

Boats mentioned in the Bible were driven by oars or sails and used for fishing or travel. It is most likely that the boat(s) in this narrative were open, small fishing boats, approximately 26.5 ft. in length, 7.5 ft. wide with a single mast and rudder. It is estimated that this vessel held up to fifteen individuals.; Jesus proceeded to get into the boat. His disciple followed Him.

Once on the lake, a great storm arose on the sea. The Sea of Galilee is about thirteen miles long and eight miles wide. It is situated about 680 feet below sea level. The Mediterranean winds often rush through the valleys of Galilee and swoop down into the basin of the Sea of Galilee causing strong, and sudden, storms.

This particular storm was so furious that the waves were consistently swamping, or covering, the boats (Mark 4:36).Mark also records that the boat was filling up with water (Mark 4:37). Luke records that the disciples were in danger (Luke 8:23). However, Jesus was in the stern (rear) of the boat sleeping on a cushion (Mark 4:38).

The disciple woke Jesus and continuously said, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” The disciples commanded Jesus to rescue them from dying. This statement is all the more significant when you consider that at least four of Jesus’ disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John) were professional fishermen (Mark 1:16-20). They were used to sailing on this lake and probably experienced such sudden storms. If so, this indicates the ferociousness of the gale.

The disciples were focused, understandably so, upon the storm. Their own efforts to combat their circumstances proved futile. In desperation they came to Jesus as a last resort.

Before we judge the disciple too harshly, what about us? What is our immediate reaction to the storms in our lives? Do we go to the Lord in prayer as a first strike, or, when all else fails, as a last resort? The Lord is as close to us in proximity as He was to the disciples in the boat.

What was Jesus’ response to His disciples? What was their response to Jesus? We will answer both questions when next we meet.

Have a blessed day in the Lord. The Lord is with us; even in the mist of stormy weather.

Soli deo Gloria!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: