(Psalm 23:2-3-"He leadeth me beside the STILL WATERS, he restoreth my soul.") Intro: In the bible we are told that Jesus could tread on water...could create turbulence on the water (2000 swine), but most important on this dark night was the fact that he could TAME the water! It had been a long and difficult day for the Lord Jesus. The events of this day began in the pevious chapter after having a confrontation with the Pharisees, v. 22-30....then his friends and family thought He had gone crazy and tried to kidnap Him, v. 21; 31-35. After that, Jesus taught the people in parables and had spent time explaining His parable to His disciples. During the day Jesus sat in a little boat just off the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He had used that boat as His pulpit as He preached to the great multitudes that had gathered to hear Him, 4:1. When the day was over, He called His disciples to set sail for the other side of the lake. When darkness fell, the disciples were making their way across that little lake. While they guided the boat, Jesus lay fast asleep in the rear of the boat. You see, He will let you guide your boat for a while until you realize you don't know everything! But when trouble comes we begin to cry "WAKE UP JESUS"!
The disciples were used to being on the Sea of Galilee at night; but the events that would occur on this night would change their perception of Jesus forever!-(Storms have a way of doing just that!)
The miracles (all 33 we will cover in the coming months) proved to the disciples, and to us, that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, and demonstrate that He is the Master of every situation. That night, in that storm, the disciples found themselves in the fight of their lives. Though the lake was small, they were sailing toward an unseen port!-(Heaven). As we sail through our lives, storms will arise and toss our vessel. Like the disciples, we often think the storms are going to destroy us. I want you to know that your storms were not sent to destroy you, but to develop you. 1. v. 37 THE POWER OF THE STORM A. Its Suddenness – “there arose a great storm of wind” – Storms like this are very common on the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is an unusual body of water. It is relatively small (13 miles long, 8 miles wide); but it is 150 feet deep, and the shoreline is 700 feet below sea level. Because the Sea of Galilee is below sea level and is surrounded by mountains, it is susceptible to sudden storms. Winds sweeping across the land come up and over the mountains, creating downdrafts over the lake. Combined with a thunderstorm that appears suddenly over the surrounding mountains, the water stirs into violent twenty-foot waves. These storms usually do not happen at night. So, these men did not set out in a storm and they did not expect one either, but a storm came anyway! That’s the way life is too! Things can be fine one moment and the next, the bottom falls out. One phone call, one doctor visit, one tick of the clock, and there you are, in the storm of your life.-(Job's ordeal!)
This shouldn’t surprise us. The Bible says that the storms will come our way, Job 14:1; Eccl. 2:23; John 16:33. You are in one of three places today. You are either in a storm, just coming out of a storm, or headed into a storm. B. Its Severity – “the ship was now full” – These seasoned fishermen are frightened by the severity of this storm. It was dark and they could not see where they were or how close they were to the shore and the other ships around them.
Some of you have encountered storms of suffering/sorrow/sin! So, the storms come and they bring with them fear, anxiety and pain. I just want you to know that there is no storm on earth that Jesus cannot calm! There is no problem so great that Jesus cannot fix. Bring that storm to Him and watch His deal with it!
C. Its Source – This was an extrememly rare storm! (Bobby Mayne had a RARE ype of cancer that only one in 200,000 cancer patents ever get!) God might have sent this storm for the very purpose of teaching these disciples to trust in Jesus. Or, the storm could have been satanic in origin. When Jesus calmed the storm in verse 39 and said “be still”, it is the same word that is translated “hold thy peace” in Mark 1:25. The word means “to be muzzled”. It has the idea of muzzling a violent animal. When Jesus used that word in Mark 1:25, He was using it to command demons to be quiet. Perhaps this storm was an attempt by Satan to destroy the Lord Jesus. The Bible does not reveal the source of this storm. The storms in our own lives can come from various sources too. Sometimes the storms are our own fault-(like Jonah!) You reap what you sow!-Gal. 6:7. Sometimes God sends the storms. Why would He do that? Sometimes He does it to discipline us and draw us closer to Him.-(Like with David & Bathsheba). Sometimes Satan Is Allowed To Send The Storm. Satan will whip up a storm in your life to defeat you and drive you away from the Lord. He will do everything in His power to destroy you and your faith in God....and like a roaring lion he walks about seeking whom he may devour!-1 Pet. 5:8. II. v. 35, 38 THE PROBLEM OF THE STORM
The greatest storm that night was not on the Sea of Galilee, but in the hearts of the disciples. This storm on the sea whipped up a storm of doubt within them that threatened to drown them all. A. They Doubted His Goodness – “carest thou not” – They accused the Lord of not caring about what they were facing, but they had already seen His compassion and goodness in action. They had seen Jesus conquer Devils, Diseases, and Depravity already in the first two chapters of Mark! Their problem was that they were looking at situations instead of the Savior. They had their thoughts on the facts and not on faith. As we look at these disciples and their reaction, look at all of the times we have questioned God’s concern for us!
B. They Doubted His Grace – “we perish” - Remember, it was Jesus Who had sent them out onto the sea in the first place. These men had left everything to follow Jesus and now He has led them into an impossibly dangerous situation. They are afraid the Jesus is just going to let them all die.
The city of Jerusalem once felt forsaken by God...Here is what they said and what the Lord said in reply: “But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me,” Isaiah 49:14-16.
C. They Doubted His Guarantee – “Let us pass over unto the other side” – Jesus had already told these men what was going to happen. He told them before the journey started that they were headed to the other side of the lake. If they had believed His words, they could have shouted in the face of the storm. The Lord has already promised us that everything is going to be all right, Rom. 8:28!
*A young military officer and his young bride were married. They sat out on a honeymoon voyage and while they sailed a violent storm began to beat against their vessel. The young bride became very frightened by the storm but her new husband was not afraid, and she became irritated with him because he wasn't afraid like she was. After a while, he took his sword, pulled it out of its sheath, and put the point of the sword on the throat of his new bride, and she looked up at him and she smiled. He said, "You're not afraid?" She said, "Oh, no. I'm not afraid of a sword when it's in the hands of one who loves me." And then she got the point. You don't have to be afraid of a storm when it's in the hands of one who loves you. III. v. 39-41 THE PURPOSE OF THE STORM
A. They Made Discoveries About His Power – This storm that terrified these men posed no problem for the Lord Jesus. He rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea. When He did, the winds fell silent and the sea became as a sheet of glass. Just as easily as He had healed the sick and cast out the devils; He was able to control the storm. (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego –Daniel in the lion’s den!)
B. They Made Discoveries About His Promises – Just as He said, they passed over, Mark 5:1. They learned that He was as good as His Word...and He still is!
C. They Made Discoveries About His Presence – When the Lord is in your vessel, you have an advantage. The Bible says in verse 36 that there “were also with him other little ships.” There were many boats on that sea that night, but only one contained the Lord of glory. That boat was the place to be.
D. They Made Discoveries About His Purposes – The storm taught these men a lesson they could have learned no other way. It would have been nice if they would simply have believed Him after seeing Him do all the great things He did in chapters one and two. It would have been great if they could have taken the things the Lord did for others and applied it to their own lives. If they could have said, “You know, if Jesus can heal a leper, cure Peter’s mother-in-law, cast out devils, heal that guy with the palsy and forgive his sins, then I am sure that He can take care of this storm too.” But, they seemed unable to process that information and apply it to their own lives. So, He sent them into this storm to teach them to trust Him.
What about us? We have the Bible. It tells us all the things He has done and can do. We have the testimony of others around us. We have seen what He has done for them. We have even seen Him move in our own lives. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just trust Him? We don’t, so He uses the storms to teach us that we can lean on Him and trust Him to take care of us. E. They Made Discoveries About His Peace – They are all wondering why he's taking a snooze while they are about to die! All the while He knows that He will die on a cross and not in a shipwreck. He can sleep during the storm because He trusts His Father to take care of Him. If a situation doesn’t bother the Lord, we shouldn’t allow it to bother us either! And, nothing bothers Him! F. They Made Discoveries About His Person – When Jesus calmed the sea, they were amazed and said, “What manner of man is this?” They learned that He is the One Who is in control of every puff of wind; every angry wave and every storm. They where glad they knew Jesus on that dark stormy night!