Luke 8:22-25 “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.”
This story of Jesus calming the storm is one of my favorite stories. Even though it took place 2000 years ago it has a message for us today. Jesus decided to go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee so they all climbed into a fishing boat and began to cross the sea.
What I would like to point out to you is that life is like crossing the sea. One of the things we all learn as we cross the sea of life is that it’s not always smooth sailing. Everyone has a testimony and about everyone can tell stories about the rough seas they have crossed in their lives.
Our scripture verse begins with “Now it came to pass on a certain day. . .”
Life is full of certain days. Life is also filled with many uncertain days. In fact, every morning an “uncertain” day begins. Only God knows what the day will bring and how it will end. For some people, a new day means a baby is born. For others, it means life will end that day.
On the day we were born we entered a life filled with storms. There are natural storms with thunder & lightning, wind, rain & hail. Then there are spiritual storms that try your faith. That is what happened to the disciples on the day they crossed the Sea of Galilee.
Verse 22: “… 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.”
On that certain day that you became saved, you not only received salvation, you also invited Jesus into your boat through life. He came into your heart and said, “Now, let’s go over to the other side together”. We’re all looking forward to the “other side” but in our trip through life, the Lord has a plan and purpose for every one of us.
“And they launched forth. . . .”
The day we got saved each one of us “launched forth”. Most of us couldn’t wait to tell someone. Sometimes we used wisdom but a lot of times we went around with a big smile on our faces and assumed everybody wanted to hear what happened to us. We wondered why people began to avoid us. Even our closest friends. It didn’t take long to realize most people thought we had “lost it”. What we were trying to tell them is that we hadn’t lost it, we found it.
Even though we are Born-Again, Spirit-Filled Christians, there are still seas to cross and we may have to go through many storms. Sometimes God calms the storms for us. Sometimes He lets the storm rage while He calms us down. I believe that’s what He wants most of all for us.
If we pray and the storm keeps raging, maybe we need to look to ourselves to see where our faith is. Is it in our sight, the circumstance that we can see before us? Is it in our hearing, by the things we are told? Or is it our faith in the Lord and the promises found in His Word?
When we face a storm, Jesus will get us through it if we let Him take the helm and steer. If we just launch out on our own we’ll be led by the “flesh”. We’ll be led by our own reasoning, making our own provisions and we won’t have any keys to open or close doors. It will be like paddling with one oar in the water, going around in circles.
Verse 23, “But as they sailed he fell asleep”.
Jesus was just plain tired. One of the arguments the evolutionists bring up is “If God is all-powerful, why did He have to rest on the 7th day of creation?” God didn’t have to rest because He was exhausted. For one thing, He rested to set an example for us.
Eccl. 3:1, “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
There is a time to work, a time to play, a time to pray, and a time to rest to enjoy the fruits of your labor. God didn’t get weak & tired from creating the universe, He created it until it looked good. Like a great artist, He then stood back and rested so He could enjoy it.
But with Jesus, it was a different story. Jesus was God but He was also Man. He had emotions. He got hungry and thirsty, He felt pain, He laughed, He cried, and when He was overworked He got tired.
Hebrews 4:15 says, “He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus experienced every temptation, every feeling, and every emotion you and I have ever gone through plus a lot more.
If it had been any other way, such as Jesus using His authority as God and not becoming exhausted, He would have been disqualified to be our Savior. The redemption of man required Jesus to bear all the weaknesses of man. So Jesus got tired. Looking back through the previous chapters we can see why He had good reason to be tired. He had been teaching, healing, delivering, and feeding thousands of people. What we miss seeing in the scriptures is the action of the crowd of people.
Crowds were called “the press” in the Bible. They couldn’t get the man on a stretcher to Jesus because of the “press” so they tore off the roof. (Mark 2:4) The woman with the issue of blood was in the “press” when she touched the hem of His garment. (Mark 5:27) His mother Mary tried to get to Him but couldn’t because of the “press”. (Luke 8:19) Zaccheus was short and couldn’t see Jesus for the “press” so he climbed a tree. (Luke 19:3)
- The people were trying to get close enough to just touch Him. They were reaching out & grabbing Him.
- Have you ever been in a crowd where you are pushed and shoved such as on a subway, a concert, a parade, etc.? It’s hard on a person’s body.
Jesus was tired so He laid down in the boat. The sea was calm at that point. The waves gently rocked the boat back and forth. They were away from the crowds so it was quiet.
The fishing boats in those days usually had a crew of five men. Four would row and handle the sail and the fifth man would steer with the rudder. The boats would easily hold 15 people so Jesus and the disciples had plenty of room. The boats were usually decked. In other words, they had a floor with a compartment at the bottom called the “hold”. The hold was a storage area. It’s very possible that is where Jesus laid down and slept. Jesus was very relaxed at this point.
Verse 23, “and there came down a storm of wind on the lake”
The Sea of Galilee is unique. It’s 7 miles wide, 13 miles long and at its lowest point, 150 ft deep. It’s surrounded by mountains but especially one to the north, Mt. Hermon. It’s almost two miles high. Mt. Hermon funnels violent winds through the Jordan Valley onto the Sea of Galilee. The storms come up unexpectedly. Waves as high as 20 feet can form.
Life is filled with storms and 99% of the time they come up unexpectedly. In 62 years of marriage, my wife and I have gone through several storms. I don’t remember anyone coming to us in advance to tell us “Get ready!! Something terrible is going to happen!”
A storm in life usually begins with a knock on the door or a phone call. It may be a telegram, letter, or email. It may be a report from a doctor. You’ve probably been there so you know what I mean.
No matter how the storm comes, you had better be prepared. I remember before I was saved and going through storms without Jesus. I also remember going through storms after salvation, with Jesus. Believe me, it’s better to go through a storm with Jesus than it is without Him.
“. . . . and they were filled with water.”
Every seaman knows what to do in a storm: you lower the sails, keep the bow of the boat into the waves, bail out the water as it fills the boat, and pray.
“….and they were in jeopardy”.
They were in danger of sinking. The devil likes to make waves.
Have you ever felt like you were drowning in problems? That literally almost happened to me one time. A friend of mine and I once took a trip to the Boundry Waters in Minnesota. A seaplane dropped us off in a remote lake. There were no roads in or out so we had to be careful. During our stay of one week, we decided to take our canoe and portage through 7 small lakes. By our map, we knew we would be coming out North of our camping grounds by a distance of about three-quarters of a mile. We started out early that morning and went from one lake to another. It was beautiful weather with just a few small clouds in the sky.
Some of the “rivers” we traveled were no wider than about 5 feet. We finally came out at the North end of the lake and we could see our tent almost a mile away. A few clouds were beginning to gather but we really didn’t worry as we knew we could paddle fast enough to get to our tent. I should explain that my partner didn’t reveal two important things to me until the plane had dropped us off. One: He couldn’t swim. Two: He had never paddled a canoe before.
We were about a fourth of the way when suddenly the clouds became bigger and blacker and the waves began to pick up. My partner was in front because with his inexperience I could steer the boat in any direction as long as he paddled.
Wave after wave blasted against the side of the canoe. Up until this time we had been enjoying ourselves, laughing and joking but while my partner was still unconcerned I stopped laughing because I knew we could be in danger. Just two weeks before our trip a group of young campers was caught in just such a storm and some of them drowned. A big wave hit us broadside and I knew that it was necessary to keep the bow of the boat into the waves. I yelled at my partner, “Just keep paddling hard!” A wave hit us so hard it turned the bow of the boat away and hit us broadside. I managed to get the bow back to face the next wave but the waves were getting bigger and harder. I took my eyes off the waves for a split second and saw a rock that made up a small island to our left. If we could get to that we would be safe. We paddled as hard as we could and finally reached the rock. We climbed up, pulling the canoe after us and we both nearly collapsed from exhaustion.
Thirty minutes passed by and so did the storm. We managed to reach our tent for a good night’s sleep.
My thoughts about this later: We should have paddled to the rock at the sign of any clouds and waited out the storm. We were young and thought we were strong enough to get through it on our own but thank God for that rock!
In those days I was not saved but looking back now I see that rock as symbolic of Christ. I learned a very important lesson that day. In every storm, there is a Rock to go to and it’s Jesus.
Verses 24-25, “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. 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.”
It’s important that we make a note of something here. Jesus was asleep. The wind was blowing, the rain was coming down hard. The boat was rocking from side to side and up and down with the waves. It was filling with water and yet none of those things woke Jesus. The disciples were afraid but Jesus slept like a Baby.
Jesus was confident that His Father was in control.
Psalm 89:8-9, “O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.”
The point the disciples missed is that Jesus said they were going to the other side. He didn’t say “Let’s go out in the middle of the sea and drown”. The faith of the disciples was in seeing and hearing the raging storm. While the storm raged the disciples were wringing their hands and worrying.
The storm didn’t wake Jesus. But when one of His followers called for “Help” He woke right up, stood to His Feet, and calmed the sea. That’s a good thing for us to remember. Jesus didn’t hesitate to answer their call. He didn’t ask them if their tithes were paid up at the Temple. He didn’t ask them to wait to see if the storm would calm down by itself. The only thing He asked them was, “Where is your faith?”
It says He “rebuked the wind and the raging of the water”.
Here it is from the Amplified Bible: “And the disciples came and woke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! And He, being thoroughly awakened, censured and blamed and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there came a calm.”
“Censured” means to disapprove and criticize. So Jesus disapproved and criticized the storm. Then He “rebuked” it. The only time Jesus rebuked anything was to the devil or demons. The dictionary says to rebuke is to “tell somebody off”.
Jesus didn’t rebuke the storm. He rebuked the power behind the storm.
Ephesians 2:2 says the devil is the “Prince of the Power of the air”. I believe the devil was trying to use the storm to kill Jesus and the disciples. What did Jesus do? He told off the devil and told him to quit fooling around with the weather.
After calming the storm Jesus questioned the faith of the disciples. He asked, “Where is your faith?” Everyone lives by faith, even unsaved people. The difference between a born-again Christian and an unsaved person is the object of their faith. Most unsaved people put their faith in themselves.
A born-again Christian puts his faith in Jesus and the Word of God. What we have to understand is that faith has to be tested before it can be trusted. The devil doesn’t care if we have the Bible memorized from cover to cover as long as we don’t walk in it by faith. It’s one thing to have a head knowledge of the Word but it’s something else to practice it on a daily basis.
Jesus could very well calm every storm in our lives when we ask it in prayer but His greater will is for the Promises in His Word to put the calm in us so we can go through the storms.
That needs to be repeated: His greater will is for the Promises in His Word to put the calm in us so we can go through the storms.
The disciples were amazed at Jesus for calming the storm. 99% of the time a storm on the Sea of Galilee will calm a little at a time and it takes a while to be completely still. But when Jesus spoke it calmed immediately and it became like a sea of glass.
The disciples wanted to know, “What manner of Man is this?” They had already seen Jesus heal the sick, give sight to the blind, and made the lame walk. He had fed thousands with some fish and a few loaves of bread. They even witnessed Him raising a boy from the dead but they still wondered, “Who is this Guy?”
I would like to conclude by giving my answer to that question by using some of the Names & titles that Jesus is given in the Bible.
The disciples and even people today still ask, “WHAT MANNER OF MAN IS THIS?”
For one thing: The Bible tells me He is Emmanuel or God with us. He is God Manifested in the Flesh and as such, He became our Deliverer and the Captain of our Salvation.
The Bible tells me that in times of trials He is my Peace, my Shield, my Refuge from the Storm, my High Tower, and my Sanctuary.
We can look at creation and know that He is the Creator. Plants and flowers remind us He is the Vine, the Branch, He is the Lily of the Valley, and the Rose of Sharon.
When we see rocks or a mountain we can remember that He is our Spiritual Rock, A Stone Cut Without Hands, the Rock of Our Salvation, and Chief Cornerstone.
The stars remind us He is the Daystar, The Bright And Morning Star and He is Higher Than the Heavens.
The sheep in a field reminds us He is the Great Shepherd and the Door of the Sheepfold.
Our hunger and thirst remind us that He is the Living Bread, the source of Living Water and you can never get too full of Him.
When we feel alone and friendless we know that He is my Friend That Sticks Closer Than a Brother.
When sickness comes He is an Ointment Poured Forth, the Balm of Gilead and Our Great Physician.
When circumstances in life are too uncertain, Jesus is a Sure Foundation, The Wisdom of God and Our Counselor.
When especially hard trials are so unbearable that it seems a dark cloud hangs over us, we can remember He is the Light of the Morning, the Light of the World, and the Lifter Of Our Head.
To a person who is not saved life can seem like one big battle. But to the believer, facing the battles in life we know He is Our Shield. He is the Captain of the Host, and the battle is not ours but His.
When trials come and it seems like no one has ever walked in our shoes, the Bible reminds us that Jesus is A Root Out of Dry Ground. That means He knows every difficulty, every sorrow which we feel. He was in all points tempted like us and is well able to identify with our suffering.
When the devil tries to convince us that our faith is weak and it seems there is nothing we can do to strengthen it, then we realize that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith and not the devil.
When we see the United States flag waving proudly in the wind we usually think of “Old Glory”. But we can also remember that Jesus is the King of Glory, the Crown of Glory, and our Hope of Glory.
When we see Israel’s flag, the Star of David, it reminds us that Jesus is the Holy One of Israel. He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Son of David, yet He is the Lord of David.
He was born King of the Jews, He died the King of the Jews and one day He will reign as the King of the Jews.
Every time they blow a shofar or trumpet it reminds us that Jesus is the Horn of Our Salvation.
And when tomorrow seems uncertain, we remember He is the Ancient of Days, the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. He is the Dayspring From On High, the Bridegroom, and our Soon Coming King.
“What manner of man is this?” He is our High Priest and A Priest Forever. The Messenger & Mediator of a Better Covenant, He is Sent of the Father as the Seed of the Woman. He is Shiloh or Peacemaker, the Prince of Peace, the Lamb of God, and a Sweetsmelling Savour.
CONCLUSION: Some may say, “things are pretty smooth sailing for me right now.” I promise you that as long as there is a devil around there are going to be storms in life. The next one could come tomorrow or, you may be going through a storm now. Maybe you are facing storms of sickness, depression, temptations, finances, family problems, marriage problems, etc.
Remember, Jesus is always in the storm with you.
Eph. 2:5-6, “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”
Col. 1:3-4, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. ‘ When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
Those verses of scriptures say you have already passed through the storms of life, even the ones to come. You were not in the boat alone. Jesus was in it with you and you have already crossed over to the other side. It’s a promise written in Blood on a hill called Calvary. That means you’re going to make it to the end. You may be bloodied, tired, and a little frustrated, but by keeping your faith in the Word of God and knowing Jesus is in every storm with you, you can also relax and rest in the hold of the ship while Jesus steers.