I was at a church service few weeks ago, where Luke’s account of Jesus sleeping in the boat and calms the storm passage was read. This has always been a favorite bible reading of mine but I learned something about where they were headed that I never knew before. I pondered this passage for the last few weeks and decided I needed to do some research and learn more. My research is very primitive to years and years of theology but still I learned more about Jesus and his disciples causing me to wonder how I might have reacted to the storm.
Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Gerasenes across the lake from Sea of Galilee. Gerasenes is a region to have been known to be populated with many demons. This is the same place where Jesus cast of the demon named, “Legion, for there are many of us” out of the herd of swine.
So Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee toward a region with many demons. It seems demons may be trying to stopping him from entering their region with a sea known for being calm at night, no winds at all, surface glass like, now is hosting the worst squall the experienced fishermen had ever experienced.
Facts about Sea of Galilee:
- The Sea of Galilee is about thirteen miles long.
- North to South, seven miles across at its widest, and 165 feet at its deepest.
- The Sea of Galilee is located in the Jordan Rift Valley which is 696 feet below sea level.
- The Jordan River flows out of the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea from the South.
- To the North is Mount Hermon.
- Temperatures in the area are usually around 100 degrees.
Facts about Jesus:
- This is the only time Jesus is ever seen sleeping in the bible.
- Jesus has no fear. He knows this is not the night he is going to die.
- The disciples yell at Jesus using the present tense saying, “We are going to drown.” Saying, “It is upon us. It is happening now.”
Jesus orders the sea to be quiet and the sea obeys.
Facts about Jesus:
- The tense Jesus uses rebuke the storm to be quiet is originally in Greek. The resulting word that tells the sea and wind quieted down says it was immediately calm and quiet not a gradually happening but immediate.
- In Mark’s gospel, the same word is used twice to tell the demons to be quiet and it says to “Be still and stay still.”
- In Luke’s gospel, the same word is used to command a fever to cease.
Jesus questions the disciples by saying, “Where is your faith?” Instead of giving Jesus an answer they look at each other and ask, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
“Where is your faith?” There have been opportunities for Jesus to ask that of me in my life, too many to even begin to mention here. I think about how the disciples did everything with Jesus traveling eating, and sleeping. They knew him as a friend, teacher, rabbi, a good man, but now they were forced to see him as someone special, something of a god, they must have compared this event to God’s hand parting the Red Sea. They have no words. In my life, even when I experience a God Wink, I have no words. I think, I would have had a thousand questions for Jesus about how he did this calming, who was he and what was next but in reality, I would have hid my head under his cushion and pray to get to dry land.
Dear Lord Jesus,
When demonic meets divine, there is no contest. Divine always wins. I always want to walk in the footsteps of the divine. Lord, remind me daily, you are in my boat at my side. Jesus, You know the storms of my life and you have everything under control. Jesus, please, love me recklessly. Amen