Text: Mark 4:35-41; Psalm 89:9 (also Luke 8:22-25)
Prop: A poster of ship tossed in a storm or tempest.
Summary: The story of Jesus calming the storm.
Look what I brought with me today. Do you see this picture? What is it? [a storm] I want to tell you a story about Jesus when he was caught in a storm. Jesus had been teaching all day and was tired. He told his disciples to get in a boat and cross Lake Gennesaret, or as it was commonly called, the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was tired and knew it would take an hour or so to cross the lake, so he took a pillow and laid down for a nap. Do you take an afternoon nap when you are tired? Jesus had worked hard that day and he fell fast asleep.
Then the wind began to blow hard. The waves were crashing over the side of the boat and it began to fill up with water. The disciples knew if they didn’t do something fast, the boat would sink. They were afraid because of the storm. Sometimes bad things happen to us in life and we don’t know where to turn. The disciples knew they could count on Jesus, so they turned to him for help. Do you get scared when the lightning flashes and the thunder roars on a stormy day? [yes] The disciples shook Jesus to wake him up and said Master, Master, we perish! [Luke 8:24] So what did Jesus do? Did he rub his eyes and tell them “leave me alone, can’t you see I’m sleeping?” No, of course not. Jesus is always concerned when we are in trouble or danger. He loves us and wants to take care of us.
Jesus arose and told the wind to stop blowing and for the waves to be calm. It was as if he said to the sky “Hush, be quiet!” and said to the waves “Lie down, be calm.” Have you ever had a pet dog that wouldn’t stop barking at night? If you have, then you may know what a muzzle is. A muzzle is something you put over a dog’s mouth to keep him from opening his mouth to bark. That is what Jesus said to those waves.* And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. All at once the wind stopped blowing and the waves calmed down until the lake was as smooth as glass. Then Jesus turned to his disciples and surprised them. He asked them why were they afraid?
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? This made them all the more afraid. They had never seen anyone command the wind and sea like that and then see them obey immediately. Jesus is the Son of God who created everything. He has power to control everything he made. In Psalm 89:9 we read Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. Whenever the storms of life threaten to overtake us, Jesus stands up for us and takes them out of the way. We only need to have faith and trust Jesus. He is in control and will protect us.
* Greek word for Peace is siopai (see-o-pah’-o) and means a hush, involuntary muteness. Greek word for still is phimoo (fee-mo’-oh) and means to muzzle.
©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.