Jesus and His disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee and the intention was to simply cross to the other side (Mark 4). It seemed like an easy thing to do. They had done it dozens of times. But this trip was different.
I have been on the Galilee more than once in a boat that was a replica of the large boat Jesus would have been traveling on. At that time, there were small fishing boats and large ones. But the Bible specifically tells us that Jesus and His disciples were in one of the large boats.
To the east of the Galilee is the Golan Heights and Mount Hermon is to the north. To the west is the Mediterranean with Samaria to the south. On the Sea of Galilee, the weather can change in a moment of time and that’s what happened while Jesus and His disciples were crossing the sea. The storm was so fierce that even though they were in a large boat, the waves were filling the boat.
The disciples panicked and, like most people during a storm, started counting heads to make sure everyone was accounted for. They couldn’t quickly find Jesus. But when they did, He was at the stern of the boat asleep on a pillow. The disciples screamed at Him, “Don’t you care that we are dying!” While they were frantically yelling at Jesus, He simply stood and commanded the storm to be still and immediately the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
Then He turned to His disciples and asked them two questions. Remember moments earlier these men had been gripped with fear and were yelling at Jesus, accusing Him of not caring about them. The first thing Jesus asked them was, “Why are you so fearful?” Then He asked another question. He said, “How is it that you have no faith?” In today’s terminology, we could think of it this way. He said, “Why are you afraid?” and “Why don’t you believe what I told you?”
These men had walked with Jesus, seen the miracles, seen the healings, and watched the anointed Son of Man perform miracles in the lives of others. But when they faced their own personal disaster where it looked like there was no way of escape, they became gripped with fear and accused the Master, who actually was their only way of escape, of not caring.
As you are reading this, you may be in the storm of your life, in the middle of the sea, surrounded by darkness and overpowering waves wondering, “Where is God now?” If you are a born-again believer, God is already with you, and if you will listen, He is asking you two questions. “Why are you afraid?” and “Why don’t you believe what I’ve told you?”
What has God told us? God, in His Word, says to us that any weapon that the enemy forms to destroy us will not work (Isaiah 54:17). God says that if we can believe, all things are possible (Mark 9:23). God says that no matter what the attack, He has prepared a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) and that even though we may be surrounded by a pounding storm, we are possessed by a Power on the inside that’s greater than any attacking power on the outside (1 John 4:4). If those things are true, then why would you be afraid?
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side.’ Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?'” (Mark 4:35-40)