Calming the storm
Calming the storm is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, reported in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25 (the Synoptic Gospels). This episode is distinct from Jesus' walk on water which also involves a boat on the lake and appears later in the narrative.
According to the Gospels, one evening Jesus and his disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat. Suddenly a furious storm came up, with the waves breaking over the boat so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was asleep on a cushion in the stern, and the disciples woke him and asked, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" The Gospel of Mark then states that:
He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
Author Michael Keene commented that the Sea of Galilee was known for its sudden and fierce storms and that the Jews were people of the land who were generally uncomfortable at sea, especially since they believed the sea to be full of frightening creatures. The Pulpit Commentary attributes these sudden storms to winds arising on the summits of Mount Hermon, in the Anti-Lebanon mountains to the north.
The Anglican clergyman John Clowes commented that by asking the question "Why are you so afraid?", Jesus was asking his disciples to explore in their own minds the cause and origin of fear, so they would realize that all fear has its roots in natural affection and thought, separate from spiritual affection and thought. And by asking "Do you still have no faith?" Jesus was manifestly pointing to a defect in their spiritual principles. Clowes further commented that by that last question Jesus was manifestly instructing his disciples, and through them all future generations of mankind, that fear is the constant result of the weakness of Heavenly principles in the human mind.
Peter Paul Rubens:
Christ on the Sea of Galilee (c. 1611-1614)
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1695)
Christ Stilleth the Tempest (1852)
Christ Calming the storm (1853)
Jesus Stilling the Tempest (Jésus calmant la tempête) (c. 1886-1894)
- M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock (Oct 1, 2004). The People's New Testament Commentary. ISBN 0664227546 page 126
- Mark 4:39-41, New Revised Standard Version.
- Michael Keene (2002). St Mark's Gospel and the Christian Faith ISBN 0-7487-6775-4 page 26
- John Clowes (1817). The Miracles of Jesus Christ published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK page 47