Jesus had been working hard all day - teaching crowds of people about God, listening to their problems, healing the sick and showing them God’s love. It’d been a long hard day and He was very tired. So when evening came He said to His friends, ‘Come on, let’s go to the other side of the lake.’ It was a big lake called ‘The Sea of Galilee’.
Some of Jesus’ followers - His ‘disciples’ were fishermen who’d grown up working on the Sea of Galilee. So they said, ‘OK Jesus, get into the boat and we’ll take you across to the other side.’
So Jesus, shattered from His hard day’s work, got into the boat, found a cushion for His head and laid down at the end of the boat, probably under some covers. And as they left the crowds behind, He fell into one of those – deep, dreamless sleeps that you sometimes fall into when you’re really - really tired. (P)
The fishermen sailed the boat quietly on a gentle breeze, while the other disciples who weren’t fishermen sat in the boat, chatting over some of the things that’d happened during the day. And off they went into the middle of the lake.
But when the boat reached the middle of the lake, something started to happen! The gentle breeze that’d helped them along so far - suddenly changed direction. And no longer was it a gentle breeze - but a howling gale! It rushed at the boat, threatening to capsize it! The fishermen leapt forward to the sail to drag it down before the boat was blown over. - And then - the wind started to whip up the waves. So far they’d lapped gently at the boat, but now they started to grow, while the wind snatched the spray and lashed it into the faces of the disciples as they fought to control the boat.
The waves that had been gentle ripples were now enormous mountains racing towards them one after another. One moment the boat was heading straight up to the sky - and then over the top and hurtling down the other side, almost as if it wanted to bury itself into the bottom of the sea. They didn’t know what to do. They tried to turn the boat toward the waves, but it was impossible as wave after wave came at them from different directions. And as each wave hit - it was almost as if it wanted to smash the tiny boat to pieces, to turn it into matchwood. Either that or sink it, as the furious waves cascaded gallons of water into the boat! Those who weren’t fishermen baled the water out as fast as they could. But no matter how hard they bailed, trying to protect their eyes from the stinging spray, the boat got fuller and fuller!
Even the fishermen, men who’d grown up living on these waters and knew all about them, had never seen a storm like this. What were they going to do? The boat was going to be destroyed. They were all going to drown! What about poor Jesus at the back? (P) What about poor Je…! JESUS! Jesus did miracles!
Almost as one man they rushed to Jesus, grabbing hold of Him and shaking Him awake! ‘Jesus – Jesus, don’t you care that we’re all going to drown?’
Jesus woke up from His deep sleep, and quickly took in the situation. And then with a slightly puzzled look on His face He slowly made His way to the mast - as the boat was being tossed and turned in the raging sea. Then taking hold of the mast, He stood up. And towards the wind He shouted, ‘Peace.’ And at the waters, ‘Be still.’
As the words left His mouth, instantly, the wind that had been a howling gale died to nothing at all. And the water, which had been churning violently, became completely calm.
And then Jesus turned and looked at His disciples, ‘Why were you so afraid?’ He asked. (P) ‘Do you still not trust me?’ (P)
The disciples, who’d been terrified of the raging winds and waters, felt even more frightened now. A different kind of frightened – because they found themselves asking each other, ‘Who is this man, that even the wind and waves - obey His every word?’