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The Storm Stilled (23-27).

It was not enough that the Saviour of mankind should have power to grapple with disease and skill to search the hearts of men: He must be Master not only of life, but of its environment too. That He is becomes apparent before the boat which carries the little company reaches the other side of the lake. One of those tempests which often lash the Sea of Galilee into sudden fury has burst upon them, and the little boat is almost covered with the waves. Here is a 116 situation beyond the reach even of the Great Physician, unless indeed He be something more. He is something more. He is Lord of nature, Master of all its forces!

Must He not be? He has come to reveal the unseen God of nature; must He not then make it manifest, now that the occasion calls for it, that winds and waves are "ministers of His, that do His pleasure"? Again, it is no mere "miracle," no mere marvel which He works in the salvation of His terrified disciples—it is a sign, an indispensable sign of the kingdom of heaven.

The story is told with exquisite simplicity, and with all the reality of manifest and transparent truthfulness. "He was asleep"—naturally enough after the fatigues of the day, notwithstanding the howling of the storm; for why should He fear wind or wave? Is there not a promise here for all His followers when tempest-tossed: "So He giveth His beloved sleep"?

His disciples let Him sleep as long as they dare; but the peril is too imminent now. So they come to Him and awake Him, saying, "Save, Lord; we perish!" Though no concern for Himself would ever have disturbed His slumber, the first cry of His disciples rouses Him at once to action. The resources of His human nature, beyond which He never went for the purpose of meeting His own personal needs, had been completely exhausted; but there is no diminution of His power to save those who call upon Him. Without any trace remaining of weariness or weakness, He hastens to relieve them. First,88   The order is different in the second and third Gospels; but here only is the order of events noted: "And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose." He quiets the tempest in the disciples' hearts, rebuking their unbelief and 117 calming their fears; then He stills the storm without, rebuking the winds and the sea; "and there was a great calm." It reads like the story of creation. No wonder the astonished disciples exclaimed: "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"


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