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Lessons on the boat

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Life applications from Jesus on the boat

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Historical background

There is only two storm events that occur in the Gospels. They occur in Mark 4 and Matthew 14. The types of storms they encountered on the sea were winter wind storms. These most likely occured in November. They were windstorms and not thunderstorms. The storm came without warning and happened suddenly.
“If the storms were rainstorms, the disciples—many of whom were seasoned fishermen—would have recognized the developing rain clouds and impending threat, and sought shelter in one of the harbors around the lake.”
Franz, G. (2016). What Type of Storms Did Jesus Calm: Wind or Rain? In B. J. Beitzel & K. A. Lyle (Eds.), Lexham Geographic Commentary on the Gospels (Mt 8:23–Jn 6:21). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Boat was headed where the Lord directed

The Lord told the disciples to head out and meet him on the other side. Surely the disciples would be assured that nothing bad would happen because they were going where Jesus led them. This is the false assumption of the Christian life is that if we follow God then there will never be terror, trial, nor temptation.

Gospel of Mark chapter 4

Let us pass over unto the other side (verse 35)
Notice Jesus included himself in this journey. The disciples were assured that because Jesus was present with them that they would face no danger on the open water. Facing a storm in the midst of the sea was the last thing on their mind.
Funny excerpt from Spurgeon
Verses 35, 36. And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude,—
“Telling them that Christ would give them no more instruction that day, and that they had better go back to their homes. There are some preachers who have great gifts of dispersion, it does not take them long to scatter a congregation; but I expect that Christ’s disciples found it to be no easy task to send away the crowds that had been listening to their Master’s wondrous words. But, “when they had sent away the multitude,”—
Spurgeon, C. H. (1911). A Painful and Puzzling Question. In The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 57, p. 131). London: Passmore & Alabaster.
Pass Over
The greek word used here διέρχομαι , can be defined as:
To pass into or through an obstacle, penetrate. This word is often used when speaking of a sword piercing through something. For example a form of this word is used in Hebrew 4:12.
When Jesus says we are going to pass over to the other side he means to say, no matter the storm we may face, no matter the obstacle we will encounter, we will penetrate through the situation and make it to the other side. Hallelujah.

Gospel of Matthew chapter 14

constrained his disciples to go before him unto the other side (verse 22)
Notice Jesus sends His disciples alone on this journey. The wording that Matthew uses implies that the disciples were unwilling to go without the presence of their Lord. Obviously they remember what happened when Jesus was with them. Now they are afraid the same situation will occur but Jesus want be their to help them. Facing a storm on the sea was the only thing on their mind.
constrained
The greek word used here ἀναγκάζω is defined as:
to compel, to urge
This term signifies the disciples reluctance to leave Jesus behind. Jesus had to force his disciples to go on ahead of him assuring them that they would be ok.
The Setting for the Miracle (14:22–24)
From the setting we already see Jesus as a man of prayer (v. 23). Rather than sticking around to reap the political benefits of his miracle, Jesus retires to prayer, which, unlike political advancement, is central to his mission (compare Jn 6:15). We also learn that the fact that disciples face difficult situations does not mean that Jesus is not the One who sent us (Mt 14:22, 24).
Keener, C. S. (1997). Matthew (Vol. 1, Mt 14:22). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Storm was out of their control

Many times in this life we do everything within our ability to live a good life. Circumstances sometimes arise out of know where that we have no control over. We question why these things happen that seem to turn our world upside down. (share the story of pastor Burch). We can be led of the Holy Spirit and follow God every step of the way even when God was leading us into what we would have never imagined. We may not have every answer to these circumstances but I can say that God knows what He is doing. I still believe God works everything out for the good for those that love the Lord. Sometimes God brings us through the fire so that we can be purified and shine like Gold. Other times we go through a storm that was a result of our own sinful nature and a consequence of our actions. But guess what God is still there.
The storm was instantaneous, there was no storm clouds.
We often forget we are not the only ones going through the same situation.
Mark includes in his gospel other little ships that went with them. Guess what, the storm affected them to! They didn’t have Jesus in the boat with them.

Peace in the situation

Jesus sleeps in the storm

Jesus is found asleep in the stern during this storm the disciples encountered. Not only was Jesus asleep but he was asleep on a pillow. This is the peace that allows us to get a good nights sleep when our world is falling down all around us. This is a symbol of peace in the storm. We can have this peace to when we know Jesus is in the stern. The stern is where the anchor was stored in the vessel. Jesus is the anchor in our storm and is our peace and comfort when we feel like all hope is lost. When we awake the master and he heres our cry, the peace of God calms the storm in our life.
Location of Jesus
The stern was in the back of the ship. The stern is where the anchor was! The location of Jesus reveals to us that he is the anchor in our storm.
Jesus was close by the disciples in this storm rather than the storm in Matthew.
Notice with me:
When Jesus feels close to us in the storm we awake him, when Jesus feels distant we worry, panic, and don’t call out. In The gospel of Matthew the disciples never cried out to the Lord and he just showed up.
2. What awoke Jesus
The storm did not awake the master, the disciples did. The storm was no troubled matter for the Lord, rather he awoke out of concern for his disciples. The disciples falsely assumed that because Jesus was asleep he did not care for them.

A Great Calm (Mark 4:39)

Jesus spoke to the storm saying “Peace, Be still”
There is great significance in this command.
Be Still And Stay Still
The Greek word for “ ‘Be still!’ ” pephimōso, carries the sense of “muzzled.” It occurs in the second person singular, as though Jesus were addressing a personal being. Its unusual perfect passive imperative form indicates that the condition shall persist, that is, “Be still, and stay still.
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 150). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
The wind ceased meaning that it fled. It was not allowed to return unless Jesus gave the command. When Jesus calms the storm in our life it is gone for good. The disciples may face another storm but the same storm that they just experienced would not return.
We overlook the other little ships Mark speaks about. The peace of God not only calmed their personal storm but those around them.

Divine visitation in the situation

Isn’t it nice when the Lords passes by? Have you ever had a divine visitation in your life? Jesus cares for us and goes out of His way to save us. I remember when Jesus passed by my way...
Excerpts from Origen
“And, perhaps, wishing to teach them by experience that it was not possible apart from Him to go to the other side He constrained them to enter into the boat and go before Him to the other side; but, when they were not able to advance farther than the middle of the sea, He appeared to them, and did what is written”
Origen. (1897). Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. In A. Menzies (Ed.), J. Patrick (Trans.)
2. “And observe, since God is faithful, and will not suffer the multitudes to be tempted above that they are able, in what way the Son of God constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, as being stronger and able to get as far as the middle of the sea, and to endure the trials by the waves, until they became worthy of divine assistance in the situation.”
Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel of Matthews

Sovereignty over situation

Jesus walks on the storm

Notice with me before Jesus steps into the boat, Peter first steps out of the boat.
“Our faith may be more infantile than Peter’s if we have never even tried to step out in obedience to Jesus’ commands or direction for our lives”
Keener, C. S. (1997). Matthew (Vol. 1, Mt 14:28). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.orm
Jesus steps into the boat
the storm that looks to big for us to handle Jesus walks on them. When Jesus steps into the boat the storm stops because the presence of God calms everything. There is nothing like the presence of God in difficulties of this life. Jesus walks on the water toward the disciples boat caught in the storm. The Lord is omnipotent and sovereign.
Whether Jesus is near or far, He is still in control
Excerpt from Sermon by John Chrysostem
“Accordingly we see, that when they were first near that danger, He was present, though asleep, so as readily to give them relief; but now leading them to a greater degree of endurance, He doth not even this, but departs, and in mid sea permits the storm to arise, so that they might not so much as look for a hope of preservation from any quarter; and He lets them be tempest-tost all the night, thoroughly to awaken, as I suppose, their hardened heart.”
John Chrysostom. (1888). Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. In P. Schaff (Ed.), G. Prevost & M. B. Riddle (Trans.), Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew (Vol. 10, p. 310). New York: Christian Literature Company.

Voice that changes situation

Jesus spoke to the storm

Jesus did not just give them a word of encouragement through their storm, he spoke directly to the storm and the storm had no option but to be still. Jesus shows us His Lordship by speaking to creation and creation had to listen. The voice that created the sea is the only voice that can calm the sea.
When we are going through the storm their will be many voices we will hear.
Some may say you just need to give up; recall what Jobs wife said to Job “just curse God and die.” His friends accused him of sinning and this is why his life was in a mess. No one was there to encourage Job.
“The grateful change is effected not by prayer or incantation, but by the authoritative word of Jesus, just as God produced order from chaos in the beginning (Gen 1:2).”
Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark (p. 149). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.
When the Lord speaks peace into my situation
When the Lord speaks to the storm, the storm loses control.
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