Online Bible Study Lesson Three
Miracle-Jesus Calms the Storm

You're in for a special treat today. Thanks for stopping by for another Online Bible Study lesson. This week we will study the Biblical account of Jesus calming the storm which reveals the Creator maintaining his authority over his creation. We will find even the winds and waves still obey his commands! Upon learning this truth, let's bring our storms of life, our troubles, problems, issues, and pains to Jesus today. He wants to command peace to enter our hearts. He wants us to be joyful and excited about life again. What are you waiting for? Let's get started, Jesus will calm our raging, sometimes out-of-control lives.

Read Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; and Luke 8:22-25
Jesus Calms the Storm - the Setting
Jesus was teaching the crowds in parables, specifically about faith. He shared the powerful Parable of the Soil, which gave reasons for the discrepancies in how people handled the gospel. But then Jesus unleashed an incredibly challenging call on people. This was a call to real discipleship. Jesus addressed the young man who wanted to first take care of family matters before joining him, saying, "Follow me NOW. Let the dead bury the dead—which can denote ‘let the spiritually dead, bury the dead’." Jesus pressed his curious followers, those who had been enamored with his preaching and awe-struck by his miracles. He drew the line. He said in no uncertain terms, "There shall be no one, or no one thing, standing between you and me."

If you love anyone or anything more than Jesus you're unworthy to be his disciple. Do you qualify?

What sea was calmed after Jesus performed his miracle?

The work at Capernaum was finished for now. Jesus now embarked on his new mission, telling his wider circle of disciples, "Let's cross to the other side of the sea." So, he and the 12 disciples got into their boat and headed across the Sea of Galilee. They would soon arrive on the shore of the Gadarenes, where Jesus would meet a Legion of Demon’s and the man whom the devils possessed.

Was there only one boat with the disciples on this journey?

Did you see that in Mark 4:35-36 where it tells us there were more boats full of disciples…not only the one with the twelve?
Luke 8:2-3 adds that there were "several formerly demon-possessed women" with them on this trip. So, there was a large group of people witnessing Jesus calm the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus Calms the Storm - the Miracle
Jesus' heavy teaching load would have worn him out after several days, so he was ready for a nap. While the sea was still smooth, and the breeze yet gentle, he hunkered down for a nap. Jesus grabbed a cushion and went to sleep at the stern (rear of the boat). The voyage was pleasant as everyone settled into a comfortable seat. All twelve disciples were in Jesus' boat and they all had their specific assignments. Jesus' miracles and the meaning of his parables were the main topics with the men. Jesus intrigued them by always challenging their beliefs. The same should be said of Jesus' relationship with each of us.

Have you been challenged in your faith recently?

Do storms seem to come out of nowhere and surprise you with its’ attack?

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a fierce storm arose on the sea. The waves soon broke into the disciple's boats! The water was rising inside the boat, so the men feverishly bailed water. The storm wouldn't relent and the disciples were losing
the battle with the crashing waves. This was serious! The boats began sinking into the Sea of Galilee! Wait a minute! The thought must have hit them all at once.

Where is Jesus?

Look at Matthew 8:28
They all cried out, "Jesus! Master! Lord! Save us! We're going to drown!" Jesus watched the disciples struggle for a moment, while evaluating the entire scene. A disciple grew impatient waiting on Jesus' instructions, shouting, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?" Jesus, somewhat disappointed at the disciple's fear, arose to his feet, asking them, "Why are you so afraid?" He watched their panic attack for another moment, then pinpointed their problem, "You have so little faith!"

Read Mark 4:39 again
Jesus commanded the violent winds and waves, "Be still!" Immediately, the winds submitted to their master. The sea buckled under the supreme authority of its’ Creator. The gales disappeared, with not so much as a puff of breeze remaining.  Complete silence. The raging waves smoothed over into a glassy mirror-like finish across the sea. Peaceful order was restored on this ever-unpredictable Sea of Galilee.
Do you ever wonder where Jesus is?
Have you stressed out over His lack of immediate attention?
Jesus Calms the Storm - the Response
The disciple's hearts were filled with terror. They were afraid, struck with shock and awe. They were left standing with their jaws gaping open, feeling so, so, so... human. They felt like grasshoppers that just missed getting squashed by a giant gardener's boot... Helpless, but fortunately still alive. The disciples looked down at the oars and buckets in their hands. They looked at one another. Each of them turned their eyes upon Jesus. They felt the hand of God upon them.
The men dropped their buckets and oars, totally afraid of this Man Jesus, unable to respond to his questions. They ignored their Master's query. He was too powerful; too superhuman; too God-like. They just witnessed the Creator in action, and no words could address him. They were in the presence of holiness and the source of all power.

Have you ever been in a God moment like this?      

Has Jesus ever whispered to you, “Why are you so afraid?”

What’s your response to fear when it comes knocking on your door?  

In perfect fear, they asked their own question amongst themselves, "Who is this man?" In wonderment they acclaimed, "Even the wind and waves obey him!"
Placing yourself in the disciple's boat for a moment. Try to make sense of what you just witnessed.
Does the name "Superman" come to your mind?
Aside from the comic book hero, doesn't Super Man fit what was just witnessed?
The disciples just witnessed a "super-human" miracle. Jesus calms a storm. Jesus calms a sea. The Sea of Galilee, mind you! Yes he was a superman, but what kind? Jesus went on record with this miracle by bringing peace and discharging the natural elements that produced this violent storm, it could only be one person here, the Son of God!
Read Isaiah 7:14, 8:8; Matthew 1:23

Jesus Calms the Storm - the Meaning
Jesus calmed the storm to reveal his supremacy over the created world. Jesus calmed the sea to unveil the disciple's eyes to the mystery of Immanuel, i.e. "God with us". Jesus created the world in ages past, and now he visits the world, as God's Son. This validates his authority as the Master over the universe. The elements, both organic and inorganic, must heed his commands.

Read Mark 1:25-26
The inorganic winds and waves listened to Jesus, as did the demons he was casting out earlier.  However, humans are a different type of creation. They have a freedom to believe in Jesus, or not. Humans are given the power to listen to Jesus, or not. People can read, believe, and obey God's Word, or not.

Read 2 Peter 1:8-9
All people are born in a "non-believing" state of mind and heart. We are ALL born unbelievers. The disciples, and we by association, as hearers of God's word, have to know and understand things about God, his Son, sin, and ourselves to place our belief in him and become saved. Jesus, in calming the storm and the sea, is building the disciple's faith in him as Creator. Jesus is giving them important knowledge for believing in him. Jesus created all things and he sustains all things (Read Colossians 1:15-17).

Jesus holds this entire universe together. Without his supervision over creation it would completely blow-up in a monumental, universal, catastrophic atomic explosion.
Do you believe Jesus calmed the storm?
Do you believe he calmed the sea?

How have you built your faith in him?

God made a storm to drown Jonah, and a fish to swallow him (Jonah 1:17).
He could split the Red sea for Moses in Exodus 14:21-22 and the Jordan River for Joshua (Joshua 3:15-16)
He could withhold rain from falling (James 5:17-18) and as we learned a couple lessons ago, he could turn water to wine (John 2:7-9)!

Let's return to the miracle. Jesus brings calm at his command. The storm didn't "pass" as we like to say of a terrible thunderstorm. The disciples didn't need to "ride the storm out." Jesus completely removed all conditions of the storm. This is important...

Jesus obliterated the storm. He stopped nature's elements that caused the storm, thereby instantly discharging the storm's power source.

That's what God does. He takes something that's corrupted, or something that's sinful, and obliterates it. He doesn't waste his time massaging it, lessening its destruction, or letting it "pass." No, Jesus makes something that has gone bad, new again. He takes corruption and immediately heals it back to new. He's both the Creator, and the Re-Creator. In the case of this storm, Jesus brought calmness back into the chaos.
Miracles and Belief
Jesus completely renews things. He brings peace to turmoil. He brings calm to a raging storm. He does the same with human hearts. He wants joy and trust, not fear, turmoil, and faithlessness in his believers.

Do you get it?
Do you believe?
Is your heart jumping for joy?
If not, you still have a hard heart and should pray for him to give you a new heart.

We should be in utter amazement of Jesus after reading about this incredible miracle. You should be standing there with a gaping jaw, just like these disciples. God expects you to believe in this miracle event even though you're not an eyewitness.

Read Psalm 119:18 and John 9:30
The twelve Disciples of Jesus were an interesting model from whom to learn. We all start our spiritual journey with no belief. Belief usually happens over a course of time, as the Holy Spirit patiently shows a person spiritual matters concerning the Savior, opening our eyes to understanding.

Read Romans 10:17
How do we build up our faith?

The eyes of the heart see the things of God and are slowly enlightened and opened (Ephesians 1:18). The ears of one's heart start hearing the word of God,
and the person's faith grows (Romans 10:17).

Read John 6:66
Did all of the disciples become believers?

Most of the disciples eventually became believers, but not all of them, e.g. Judas Iscariot and "many" disciples. They took the entire three years to finally become true followers of Jesus.

Read Luke 24:45
What part does God play in the disciples having faith in him according to this scripture?

But, again, that was all God's work. (Also John 3:6-7; 20:22).

Read John 6:39
What is the “work” of God?

Jesus only wants belief, not effort, from us for salvation.
Read James 2:17
What does the Lord expect of those who have faith in him?

After belief, effort comes later, in the form of Christian service and charity , after receiving the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Jesus Calms the Storm - Grasp This!
Jesus created us, all of us; but, unfortunately, original sin curses us with a darkened, unbelieving heart (Romans 3:23). We're born in a state of disbelief in God. We're born to fear the threatening things of this life.

God's one and only perfect plan of salvation demands us to believe in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. Salvation should rid us of disbelief and fear as we grow in the knowledge of God and our commitment to his son.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus did everything necessary in his life, and on his cross, so that you could be found worthy to stand before God Almighty.

Is a storm raging in your heart today?

Will you let him calm your soul?

That's what God does - he brings peace.

Do you crave God's nurture, his peace, his calm? Be still and know that he is God.

Read Psalm 42:1-2
Listen to King David, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?"

Jesus desires that you don't possess and express fear in the storms of this life. Walk up to him, as a deer to a refreshing stream. He wants you to fully trust in him and his word for all the raging waves and blowing winds that threaten you. He desires that you come to him, seeking eternal life (Matthew 6:33). He gives freely and fully. He wants to re-create you into a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).