Let’s continue to look at the miracles recorded in Mark’s Gospel. In this miracle, Jesus demonstrated His sovereignty over the wind and waves, over the weather and the waters.
On the first day of creation, God created light. On the second day, the world began to take shape as God created water and separated it from the atmosphere.
In the days of Noah, “the vast watery depths burst open, the floodgates of the sky were opened, and the rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11–12). “The water surged even higher on the earth, and all the high mountains under the whole sky were covered” (Genesis 7:19). Then “God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided” (Genesis 8:1, ESV)
At God’s instruction, Moses lifted his staff over the waters of the Red Sea, and the waters parted (Exodus 14:21-22). The sea obeyed God’s command and a super-expressway opened for Israel’s exodus from Egypt.
Forty years later, God again controlled the waters. “Now the Jordan overflows its banks throughout the harvest season. But as soon as the priests carrying the ark reached the Jordan, their feet touched the water at its edge and the water flowing downstream stood still, rising up in a mass ... The water flowing downstream into the Sea of the Arabah—the Dead Sea—was completely cut off” (Joshua 3:15–16).
When Elijah and Elisha needed to cross the Jordan River, “Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water, which parted to the right and left. Then the two of them crossed over on dry ground” (2 Kings 2:8). After Elijah was ushered into heaven, Elisha used Elijah’s mantle again, with similar results (2 Kings 2:8, 14).
When we finally get to the New Testament, it’s not surprising the Jesus demonstrated His authority over His creation. Jesus didn’t need Moses’s walking stick or Elisha’s coat. Jesus simply spoke. “ ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39, ESV). The wind and water obeyed the Master.
Jesus had been teaching and ministering in Capernaum. “When evening had come, he told them, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side of the sea’ ” (Mark 4:35). Weary from the day’s activities, Jesus went to the back of the boat and fell asleep on a cushion (Mark 4:38).
Windstorms are common on Galilee. This one must have been a doozie because it left the experienced fishermen begging for their lives. “A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?’ ” (Mark 4:37-38). “Master, Master, we’re going to die!” (Luke 8:24).
Jesus was present with Noah, with Moses, and with Elijah and Elisha. Effortlessly, He pushed back the waters of the Red Sea and the Jordan River. On Galilee, He spoke, and the wind and the waves obeyed. After the “great windstorm” there was a “great calm” (Mark 4:37, 39).
Here’s a promise for us today! “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:1-2). Trust His ever-presence power and enjoy the “great calm!”
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.