36 – Still the Storm
Where: Sea of Galilee
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After the morning had passed, and it was late afternoon, Jesus decided to leave the crowds he had been teaching in the cove west of Capernaum, and to go across the lake (towards the east) to the beach of the quiet fishing village of Bethsaida (a couple of miles south of the capital of the region, Bethsaida-Julias [today]). The plan was to fish while crossing the lake. Fishermen often used the beach area near Bethsaida as a place to process their catch (selling the catch in Bethsaida-Julias in the morning and afternoons) and to clean and mend their nets.
The boats sailed across the lake while the disciples fished as they went (the fish would be rising after the heat of the day). Jesus was tired and quickly fell into a deep sleep on the platform [model] across the back of the boat.
Down from the north, through the pass, came the wind. It picked up quickly. Soon the “power of evil” blew the boat off course southward, while the waves threw water into the boat. The men fought the wind and waves until the boat was threatened and the situation desperate. They were off course, partly swamped, near the eastern shore of the lake, and there seemed no end in sight. They were “going down”.
The disciples decided to wake the sleeping Jesus, and with real terror in their voices they quickly informed him of the situation. ‘What shall we do?’
Though these were men who daily drew their livelihood from the lake, it was not a comfortable relationship. The lake was considered a place of evil. This is especially true for the majority who could not swim well. To drown in the lake would send your spirit to an evil place. ‘Save us’, they pleaded. In the face of this life long fear they only thought of Jesus as a miracle worker.
Upon being awakened, Jesus assessed the situation and then told the disciples to ‘relax. Don’t worry. Be at peace’. Then he calmly faced the north, into the power of the wind, and ordered it to calm down. And the wind died down and finally quit blowing.
Jesus then encouraged the disciples to have greater faith. There would be many “storms” in their lives. In the face of evil be calm and confront it in faith. But the disciples were awe struck. Here was the awesome power of God, as spoken of in the Psalms, and as exercised by Moses at the Red Sea, displayed, as they had never seen it before. This amount of authority surprised the disciples. ‘Who is this guy, really?’
No questions have been asked yet.