Jesus Asleep on a Boat

Matthew 8:18, 23-25

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At the end of a day spent healing the sick, Jesus pointed to a nearby boat. He told His disciples, “Come with Me. We will cross to the other side.” It was His only chance of getting away from the crowds. Jesus was tired. He needed to rest.

At first the water was calm. A few of the disciples looked up at the sky. “This should be an easy boat ride,” one said.

“Don’t count on it. You know how this sea can turn wild. For now it does look calm,” said another. The disciples moved off to different parts of the boat.

It only seemed like a few moments later when they felt the boat nearly go over. They must be caught in the middle of a storm. All at once, they felt afraid.

One ran to grab hold of the rudder.  The wind kept changing. Several times men slipped. They were able to grab onto the side. This kept them from being swept overboard by the huge waves.

Waves broke over both sides of the boat at once. Men scurried back and forth. The skipper wrestled with the rudder. The boat tilted madly from one side to the other. The men felt helpless.

They looked at each other. “We have to get Jesus!” When they saw Him asleep on a cushion, they woke Jesus up.

“Teacher! The sea is wild. This is a terrible storm! We’ll never reach the other side in one piece. Save us!” Jesus looked from one troubled face to the other, then He got up. Jesus spread His arms wide. The wind blew hair into His face. His voice boomed, “Be still!”

As soon as Jesus called out, “Quiet! Be still!” the wind calmed. The water flattened. Peter ran to the edge of the deck. He looked overboard. He saw his reflection mirrored in the dark sea. He ran back to Jesus and fell on his knees in relief.

Jesus said, “Why don’t you have more faith? There’s no reason to be afraid when you’re with Me.” He walked to the other end of the boat. No one dared to speak out loud. An eerie silence hung over them all. They were astonished and afraid.

“What kind of man is this that we are following? Why, even the wind and the waves obey him.” Amazed, they kept asking each other this question.