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ONE NIGHT UPON THE SEA
Intro: It had been a long and difficult day for the Lord Jesus. He had sat in a ship just off the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He had used that ship as His pulpit as He preached to the great multitudes that had gathered to hear Him. When the day was over, He called His disciples to set sail for the other side of the lake.
When darkness fell, the disciples were making their way across that little lake. While they headed for the other shore, Jesus lay fast asleep in the rear of the ship. He was weary from the business of the day. Most of these men were used to being on the Sea of Galilee at night. They were, after all, fishermen. But, some events would occur this night that would change their lives and their perception of the Lord Jesus. These men found themselves in the storm of their lives. They experienced the Lord’s power to deliver them and they lived to tell the tale. I want to travel with them as they cross the Sea of Galilee. I want to do so because their experience has much to teach us today.
is a sense in which we are all involved in a journey today. We are sailing toward an unseen port. As we sail, storms will arise and toss our
little vessels. We will often think the
storms are going to destroy us. I want
you to know that your storms were not sent to destroy you, but to develop
you. Let’s join the Lord and His men as
they spend One Night Upon The Sea making their way across the
(Ill. As Jesus and His men sailed across the Sea of Galilee that night, they found themselves engulfed in a terrible storm. I would like for us to examine the storm for a few minutes today.)
The Suddenness Of The Storm
there arose a great storm of wind Storms like this are very
common on the
(Note: That’s the way life it
too! Things can be fine one moment and
the next, the bottom falls out. One
minute you can be enjoying fair weather and the next, you find yourself in the
middle of a terrible and horrible storm.
One phone call, one twenty-four hour period of time, one doctor visit,
one tick of the clock, and there you are, in the storm of your life. This shouldn’t surprise us. The Bible says that the storms will come our
B. The Severity Of The Storm the ship was now full These seasoned fishermen are frightened by the severity of this storm. The ship is rocking and reeling; it is full of water and they are afraid it is about to sink. It was a violent storm and it was night time too. They could not see where they were or how close they were to the shore and the other ships around them. They were in terrible danger, and they feared for their lives.
(Ill. Again, this is a lot like what we face in the storms of life. When they come, they are often severe and cause us great anguish and pain. The storms of suffering blow into our lives and devastate us with heartache, heartbreak and turmoil. One problem will arise after another and they will bury us under a blizzard of affliction. Many could testify about the storms of suffering.
Others face storms of sorrow. Someone you love is called away by death and it leaves you grief stricken and shaken by your loss. Sorrow touches every life! Jesus was in their boat and they were still afflicted by a storm of sorrow.)
Ill. I heard about a woman one time that had some sorrow in her life and she just couldn't seem to get over it, so someone advised her to go to one of the wise men in the village. She went to him and she explained her sorrow and she couldn't seem to get over it, so he gave her a big pile of feathers, and he said to her, "I want you to just go and knock on the door and give a feather to every person you talk to in every home where there is no sorrow." And after a few days she came back with her pile of feathers and she hadn't given away a single one and she came to understand that sorrow is common to all, sorrow knocks at every heart, sorrow makes its way into every home. The storms of life come severely into every life. Sometimes there are the storms of sorrow.
Still others are engulfed in a storm of sin. When sin enters our hearts, it always comes in as a pleasant, calm breeze. It promises us the best, but it soon displays its darker side. It will rip through your life leaving a trail of damage and destruction that can only be repaired by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and His forgiveness. Some are in that storm today!
So, the storms come and they bring with them fear, anxiety and pain. I just want you to know that there is no storm on earth that Heaven cannot calm! There is no problem so great that Jesus cannot fix. Bring that storm to Him and watch His deal with it!
The Source Of The Storm
Where did this storm come from? It may
have been natural, after all, as I have already shared; the Sea of Galilee was
susceptible to storms of this nature.
However, it came at night and that was extremely rare. God might have sent it. He could have sent this storm for the very
purpose of teaching these men to trust in Jesus. Or, the storm could have been satanic in
origin. When Jesus calmed the storm in verse 39 and said “be still, it is the same
word that is translated hold thy peace in
(Note: The same storms in our own lives can come from various sources too. Sometimes the storms are our own fault. We do things that get us into trouble and we have to pay the price. If you don’t believe me, just read the book of Jonah. God said “Go!” Jonah said “No!” God said “Woe!” Jonah said “Oh!” Sometimes we cause the storms.
God sends the storms. Why would
He do that? Sometimes He does it to
discipline us and draw us closer to Him.
This was the case with David after he had sinned with Bathsheba,
(Ill. Once there was a little boy who had a boat and he was sailing that boat out on a small pond. As he did, the boat got a little too far away from him; it was further away from shore than the boy was able to reach. So the boy took some rocks and started throwing the rocks just on the other side of his little boat and as he did he created waves and each rock brought the boat just a little bit closer back to him. Eventually, it was so close that he was able to reach out and claim the boat.)
there are times when the storms are satanic in origin. Satan will whip up a storm in your life to
defeat you and drive you away from the Lord.
He will do everything in His power to destroy you and your faith in
God. We have a real enemy, who is
seeking to defeat and destroy God’s children and he will do whatever it takes
to throw you off course with God,
I. It Was A Night Of Great Dangers
II. v. 35, 38 IT WAS A NIGHT OF GREAT DOUBTS
(Ill. The greatest storm that night was not on the Sea of Galilee, but in the hearts of the disciples. This storm on the sea whipped up a storm of doubt within them that threatened to drown them all. While the storm is raging around them, Jesus is fast asleep in the back of the boat. They run to Him and wake Him up. The word “awaken means to rouse from sleep. It was used to speak of “a calm sea that was just beginning to be agitated. I believe the Bible is telling that they went to where He was sleeping and they began to shake Him to wake Him up. These men are terrified and have lost all hope of ever surviving this storm. Let’s examine the doubts of these men today.)
They Doubted His Concern For
Them carest thou not They accused the Lord of not caring about
what they were facing. Why this
doubt? After all, they had already seen
Jesus conquer Devils, Disease, and Depravity.
(Note: Before we got too hard on these men; perhaps we should consider our own hearts. Have there been times, when the storms are raging in your life, that you have questioned God’s concern for you? You might not have said it out loud, but I am sure there have been times when your flesh has cried, “Lord, don’t you care about what is happening to me?!” We’ve all been there at times!
I just want you to know today that He does care! He cares more than you could ever know, Heb. 4:15-16. He cares and He is doing something about the situation, even though you might not see it now. Don’t question His concern, He really does care!)
B. They Doubted His Commitment To Them we perish - Remember, it was Jesus Who had sent them out onto the sea in the first place. These men had left everything to follow Jesus and now He has led them into an impossibly dangerous situation. They are afraid the Jesus is just going to let them all die.
(Note: Jesus did not save you to abandon you when the going gets a little tough. He is absolutely committed to you and will never forsake you, Heb. 13:5. The word “leave means to let sink; the word forsake means that He wont abandon you, desert you or leave you under any circumstances. When the storm is raging; when your boat is rocking and reeling; when the adverse winds are blowing; when the waves are crashing against your vessel; He will not let you sink! He will hold you up and never desert you under any circumstances. The Lord Jesus Christ is absolutely committed to you!)
(Ill. The city of Jerusalem once
felt forsaken by the Lord. Here is what
they said and what the Lord said in reply: “But Zion said, The LORD hath
forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget
thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon
the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me,
C. They Doubted His Comments To Them Let us pass over unto the other side Jesus had already told these men what was going to happen. He told them before the journey started that they were headed to the other side of the lake. If they had believed His words, they could have shouted in the face of the storm.
(Note: But, we are often no different. The Lord has already promised us that
everything is going to be all right, Rom.
8:28; Gen. 50:20;
(Ill. A young military officer and his young bride were married. They sat out on a honeymoon voyage and while they sailed a violent storm began to beat against their vessel. The young bride became very frightened by the storm but her new husband was not afraid, and she became irritated with him because he wasn't afraid like she was. After a while, he took his sword, pulled it out of its sheath, and put the point of the sword on the throat of his new bride, and she looked up at him and she smiled. He said, "You're not afraid?" She said, "Oh, no. I'm not afraid of a sword when it's in the hands of one who loves me."
And then she got the point. You don't have to be afraid of a storm when it's in the hands of one who loves you. There is One Who rules over land and sea. There is One Who has the power to calm the storms that arise in your life. You and I need not fear the storm when our gracious, loving Heavenly Father is the On In control!)
I. It Was A Night Of Great Dangers
II. It Was A Night Of Great Doubts
III. v. 39-41 IT WAS A NIGHT OF GREAT DISCOVERIES
(Ill. When they roused Jesus from sleep, He began to work. As He did, they made some precious discoveries about the Lord. These are discoveries that we need to know about as well. As we face the storms of our lives, it will help us to know all we can about the One Who rides in our vessel.)
A. About The Power Of The Lord This storm that so terrified these men posed no problem for the Lord Jesus. He rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea. When He did, the winds fell silent and the sea became as a sheet of glass. Just as easily as He had healed the sick and cast out the devils; He was able to control the storm.
The Lord we serve still has that same power today, Matt. 28:18; Gen. 18:14; Eph. 3:20. Your storm is no problem for Him! He can silence it with a word, if He so desires. He may, however, desire to allow the storm to rage. When He does this, He is well able to protect you in the midst of the storm, 2 Cor .12:9. (Ill. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – Dan. 3; Ill. Daniel in the lion’s den – Dan. 6)
The Promises Of The Lord Just as He said, they passed over,
He still is! Everything He has promised He will do, Rom. 4:21; Heb. 6:18. He will not back away from any promise He has made in this book!
C. About The Presence Of The Lord When the Lord is in your vessel, you have an advantage. The Bible says in verse 36 that there “were also with him other little ships. There were many boats on that sea that night, but only one contained the Lord of glory. That boat was the place to be.
As we sail on the sea of life, we need to remember that we are all in this thing. We are all on the sea, we are all in our boat, and we all voyage together. We need to be sure that Jesus rides with us in our vessel. Having Jesus in your vessel makes all the difference. They were able to call on Him because He was with them. They were able to se Him move in power because He was with them. They were able to experience His peace because He was with them. Is His in your vessel? If He isn’t, how do you weather the storms that arise in your life?
D. About The Purposes Of The Lord The storm taught these men something a lesson they could have learned no other way. It would have been nice if they would simply have believed Him after seeing Him do all the great things He did in chapters one and two. It would have been great if they could have taken the things the Lord did for others and applied it to their own lives. If they could have said, “You know, if Jesus can heal a leper, cure Peter’s mother-in-law, cast out devils, heal that guy with the palsy and forgive his sins, then I am sure that He can take care of this storm too. But, they seemed unable to process that information and apply it to their own lives. So, He sent them into this storm to teach them to trust Him.
What about us? We have the Bible. It tells us all the things He has done and can do. We have the testimony of others around us. We have seen what He has done for them. We have even seen Him move in our own lives. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just trust Him? We don’t, so He uses the storms to teach us that we can lean on Him and trust Him to take care of us.
(Ill. When they arrived in Gadara they saw that demon possessed man. I wonder if they doubted Him after the storm. When they saw Jairus come for help for his daughter, and even when she died, I wonder if they said, “I believe He can take care of this. I think the storm increased their faith! That may have been the purpose all along. If it wasn’t the purpose, the Lord surely used it in that fashion. He does the same for us!
you come to
Sometimes, He sends the storms to educate us and to teach us to trust. His purpose is not to hurt us, but to grow us. You can always trust the Lord to do right in the storms of life.)
E. About The Peace Of The Lord While they are fretting and fearing, what is the Lord doing? He is sleeping! Why? He knows that He is in the center of His Father’s will. He knows that He will die on a cross and not in a shipwreck. He can sleep during the storm because He trusts His Father to take care of Him.
If a situation doesn’t rattle the Lord, we shouldn’t allow it to rattle us either! And, nothing rattles Him, Psa. 121:4; Psa. 127:1-2.
F. About The Person Of The Lord When Jesus calmed the sea, they were amazed and said, What manner of man is this? they learned that He is the One Who is in control of every puff of wind; every angry wave and every storm. He is a good man to know! He can corral the waves; lasso the winds and hog tie the storm. Do you know Him today?
Conc: I don’t know about your storm, but I know Who can still it. If it is a storm of suffering; He can ease your pain. If it is a storm of sorrow; He can comfort your soul. If it is a storm of sin; He can deliver you and set you free. Do you need to hear Jesus say “Peace, be still to your storm? If you do, bring it to Him and watch Him work.