Saturday 13 February 2021

Bible Book:

'Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?' (v. 25)

Luke 8:22-25 Saturday 13 February 2021

Psalm 78:1-7


The story of Jesus calming a storm is found in Matthew and Mark as well as Luke's Gospel, and clearly meant a lot to the Early Church as the Gospels took their shape. It’s a tale with a lot to tell us, at several levels.

 First, the story tells of Jesus’ practical care and concern for his disciples in the storm. Luke’s version of the story emphasises how frightened they were – "Master, Master, we are perishing!" they shout, in panic. Jesus, waking from sleep, asks no questions but responds immediately to stop the wind and the waves dead in their tracks. It’s a story that stresses his leadership and commitment to their well-being in a crisis.

Secondly, we can understand the storm as a metaphor for overwhelming trouble – and that is a context that resonates in this time of chaos. The Early Church too faced many struggles, and by the time Luke’s Gospel was written, they had already encountered terrible persecution at the hands of  Emperor Nero. They must have found it very comforting, in their own traumatic experiences, to hear of Jesus calming a storm and protecting his disciples. The story reassured them, and reassures us, that Jesus does have the capacity to bring people through times of trouble.

Thirdly, there is the question asked by the disciples in the boat in terror and amazement: “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?” (v. 25) The stories of creation began with God commanding the water, separating it and creating a space for life in between (Genesis 1:6). When God took the decision to destroy humankind, it was by sweeping them away in a flood (Genesis 6:17), and order was restored when God returned the waters to their proper place. Control of wind and water was a divine characteristic, not something a human being could achieve. There is no answer to the disciples’ question at this point; it hangs in the silence, with all its mind-blowing implications, and readers are left to work out a response for themselves.


To Ponder:

  • "Where is your faith?" Jesus asked the disciples (v. 25). In what ways do you think their faith fell short?
  • In this story the disciples were in no doubt that Jesus had saved them. The experience of others is not always so clear-cut. As you look back over your own life, can you identify moments when you think the presence of Jesus altered a difficult situation?
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