Being on the Sea of Galilee was a bit surreal. So much of the New Testament takes place in or around this area that being here, on a boat, really brought the Bible to life for me.
On the beautiful, sunny day that we were scheduled to board a boat from our hotel's side of the sea and sail across, the water was particularly choppy and we instead had to drive around to a different docking point. In the clip below, you can hear how strong the wind was on the day we went out. It almost knocked us over!
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Reading the story of Jesus calming the storm and Jesus and Peter walking on water growing up, I always thought the disciples were a little weak and wondered how they could be afraid since Jesus was with them. Now, having been to where both of these events took place, I view the disciples in a different light; they were still human and they didn't have the whole picture yet. Sitting on our sturdy boat on a sunny day, the wind was still overwhelming. I imagined the type of boat that they would have been on at the time and how much worse real stormy conditions would have felt.
It is so easy for us to forget, just like the disciples did, who exactly it is that we have on our side. In the words of Pastor Sam Dennis, "It takes courage to get out of the boat but even more courage to keep our eyes on Jesus." This clip is from sunrise the next morning. The contrast from the previous day was overwhelming, in imagining how tumultuous the waters were, to be immediately made peaceful by the power of Jesus: