Stilling the Storm

Read: Matthew 8:23-27

Then he . . . rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. (v. 26)

With the disciples panicking and screaming for him to save them, Jesus calmly rebuked them for their lack of faith. After that he proceeded to rebuke—that’s Matthew’s word—the storm on the lake. Jesus stood up in that boat in the middle of a howling gale, with the wind roaring around him and water pouring over the gunwales and his crew of professional sailors working desperately to keep from capsizing, and he proceeded to speak to the elements like a parent addressing unruly children. And they instantly obeyed.

Wow. “What sort of man is this,” indeed! The power and authority Jesus flashed for a brief instant in that boat did not come from anywhere in this world. It opened the disciples’ eyes to his true identity, and it made them tremble.

One of the beautiful ways in which the early church used this story was by seeing that little boat as a symbol for the church. “The boat is the present Church,” wrote the Venerable Bede in the 8th century, “in which Christ passes over the sea of this world with His own, and stills the waves of persecution.” Here are the disciples, gathered together inside the boat, with Jesus in their midst. The church is the community of all who are living in fellowship with the Lord and with one another. Around us the perils and storms of life are swirling, but as long as Jesus is with us, all will be well. —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks that Jesus is with you in the storm.

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.