STORY SETTING AND BACKGROUND
JESUS STILLS THE STORM
The prevailing wind in
When the day has been especially warm and the cool breezes are especially cool, a storm will likely occur. As the cool breezes hit the warm air and water, rough and dangerous waves can quickly result. The fishermen of the area know how exceedingly dangerous such waves can become.
Some years ago a visiting student
asked some Arab fishermen whether he could go fishing with them. They gave him
permission provided that he would be very quiet. When they pushed off from
shore in the late afternoon, the student noticed that the fishermen listened
very intently. He learned later that they had listened for any unusual sound of
a strong wind blowing down from the hills of
Several years ago, an underwater
archaeological expedition examined certain parts of off-shore areas of the
THE SETTING OF THE STORY
The event of our story took place on what is known as the busy day of Jesus. He had been speaking in parables to people gathered all about Him as He sat in a boat just off shore. He spoke such parables as th'!t of the Sower and the Seed, the tares, and the mustard seed. (Mark 4:1-34; Matthew 13:1-53; Luke 8:418) .
In the late afternoon, Jesus was weary and worn from a long day of teaching. He asked His disciples to sail over to the other side of the lake where He would be able to get away from the crowds and rest.
As they sailed, a fierce storm arose and threatened to submerge and destroy the ship. It is essential to keep in mind that a good number of Jesus' disciples were seasoned fishermen. From their years of fishing they knew well this lake with all its moods and whims. Humanly speaking, they felt that the storm was so great that they were doomed to lose their lives in its churning waters.
Read carefully the account of Matthew. Note that when the terrified disciples woke Jesus up, He chided them while He was still lying in the back of the boat. Then He got up and commanded the stormy waters to become calm. A word from Jesus, the mighty Son of God, and the raging waves became as smooth as glass. Mark and Luke chided the disciples a second time after the waves calmed. "Why are you fearful, 0 you of little faith."
Note the effect this miracle had on the disciples. The full significance of what it meant that He was the promised Messiah, the Son of God, had not penetrated their understanding. The Jewish view of the Messiah did not include that He would be the divine Son of God and as such also the Lord of creation.
Cool breezes quickly turn the calm
waters of the