JESUS CALMS THE SEA
Scripture: Matthew 8:23–27; Mark 4:35–41; Luke 8:22–25
Memory verse: Luke 8:25
" 'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples."
Help the students visualize various kinds of power available for our use. Begin by having a student pick up a chair or some other object and carry it to the other side of the room. Ask the student if they can name the kind of power used by that person. Point out that people use physical power every day in their lives.
Now ask the students to look at various pictures you have brought. Instruct them to name the type of power depicted by each picture.
For example, display a picture of a horse or an ox pulling a cart. This would represent animal power. Show electric wires or lights for electrical power. A bomb or results of an explosion will depict explosive power. A windmill, a flying kite, a sand storm, or an uprooted tree is an example of wind power. A dam or waterwheel shows the power of water.
Ask the students to suggest other sources of power. Then write the following on the chalkboard: shakes mountains; stops storms; heals diseases; changes people. Ask the students what kind of power it takes to do these things. Tell them that in this week’s study they will see what kind of power Jesus has and how He responds when we have faith in Him.
Hearing God’s Word
Jesus is our best friend. He is always with us. In past weeks we have talked about His unlimited power and how He can help us with whatever problems we have, even when they seem impossible to solve.
Faith is Essential
We have learned that we must have faith before God can answer our prayers. We must believe He can answer our prayers and that He will. (Ask a student to read Hebrews 11:6.)
It is strange that often one of the last places we go for help in a fearful situation is to Jesus. If Jesus can solve any problem we have, if His power is endless, if nothing is impossible with Him, then why do we not turn to Him first when we are afraid? Maybe a lack of faith is our problem. Perhaps we do not really believe Jesus is always with us and can solve any problem.
Most of us are used to hearing a lot about Jesus’ great power. We hear of His great love for us and that He wants to work things out for our good. If we are not careful, we become so used to hearing this message that we just pass it off—almost as if it were not real. So we are not placing faith in God after all.
Faith in What We Cannot See
One reason for doubt is that we cannot see Jesus as we see each other. It is natural to have faith in people we can see. It is harder to trust someone you have never seen with your physical eyes. That is what faith is—believing without seeing.
Think about your faith in God. How strong is it? If you have grown up in church, you are used to hearing about how great God is and what wonderful things He can do for you. Do you realize what that means? (List the outline points on the chalkboard as you continue speaking.)
God is All–Powerful
First, because God has all the power in the universe, He really can work out any situation and solve any problem you have. No matter how impossible a problem seems to you, God is always in control.
God Loves Us
Second, because God loves you so much, He wants to meet your needs—even in the smallest ways. He cares about you personally.
Finally, it takes faith and obedience on your part to bring a needed response from God. Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that God is like a character from a story that gives us a certain amount of wishes. This is not the way it is with God. He knows exactly what we need before we ask. We may not get everything we want, but He promised to meet all our needs. (Ask a student to read Philippians 4:19.)
Now let us look at the Scripture text for this week’s study and see how all of this applies to everyday living. (Read or ask a student to read Luke 8:22–25.)
How Would You React?
Let us use this event from Bible times as a comparison to modern-day living. Maybe we can understand it better. Jesus and His disciples are in a boat, crossing the Sea of Galilee. Let us imagine it was (name a nearby large body of water). Imagine that each of you is one of the disciples.
On the way over to the other side, Jesus decides to take a nap. Suddenly a windstorm comes up. (Relate this to your local water if possible.) You are with Jesus in a fishing boat. Huge waves soon begin tossing it back and forth and filling it with water. You are probably going to need to bail the water out, right?
The wind keeps blowing and the waves keep pounding against your boat. Soon the boat is filling up with water faster than you can bail it out! The boat is sinking. What do you do?
The Disciples Call on Jesus
The natural thing to do is panic. That is what most people would do, and that is exactly what Jesus’ disciples did. They cried out, “Master, Master, we are going to drown!”
Ask: “If you had been the disciples in that situation, what would you have done? Would you have awakened Jesus?” (Allow responses.)
Ask: “Were the disciples wrong to wake Jesus? Did that show the disciples did not believe Jesus could help them?” (Allow responses.)
Today we take our problems to Jesus in prayer. The disciples had Jesus with them in person. They were expected to take their problems to Jesus personally. That is what they were doing about the storm. It was not wrong to wake Him.
The Disciples’ Lack of Faith
Something the disciples did was definitely a poor Christian example. Think about their approach to the problem.
Ask: “How did they come to Jesus?” (Allow discussion.)
They came in a panic. They depended on their own strengths and abilities instead of exercising faith in Jesus and trusting Him to keep them safe. They should have come to Jesus in confidence, knowing He could take care of the problem.
It is hard to imagine the disciples lacking faith. We might think since they had Jesus with them physically, it would be much easier to have faith than it is today when we cannot see Jesus. Let us look at what the disciples said after Jesus calmed the storm.
Ask: “What does this verse tell you about the disciples’ understanding of Jesus?” (Allow responses.)
The disciples still did not fully understand that Jesus is the Son of God. Can you see how it might be more difficult to have faith in Jesus if we had lived back then?
If Jesus were on Earth Today
Rumours usually start rapidly when a well-known person does something of interest. (You may be able to relate this to current news events.) Suppose Jesus was travelling around the country today doing the things He did in Bible times. Every newspaper, radio, and TV station would probably give a report. We would probably hear several different versions of every miracle; some versions would cast Him in a bad light. This was certainly true in Jesus’ day too, perhaps more so since people then had no mass communications systems like newspaper, TV, or radio as we do today. Many people probably wondered, “How can He be God’s Son when people say He does so many strange things?””
Also, Jesus did ordinary things just as we do every day. Jesus ate; He slept; He got thirsty; and He got hot and dusty just as you and I do. “If Jesus lived on earth today,” you might say, “how can He be the Son of God?”* I’m not following you on this question. What does a question of timing have to do with a question about deity?
Jesus is Lord Over Nature
Jesus’ calming the storm definitely shows He is the Son of God. He stopped the storm and calmed the sea simply by saying, “Quiet! Be still!” This is something no one except God himself could ever do. Jesus’ control over nature proves His lordship. Nature has remained untamed by man since God created the universe. To be able to control nature is a definite sign Jesus is indeed God.
Accepting God’s Word
This event made a deep impression on the minds of the Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recorded it. Since all three of these writers included it, we know this lesson is important for us too. It teaches an important truth—God is over all things. Nothing is too difficult for Him.
Explain that Jesus is always beside us when we are afraid or sad. He cares about us. He cared so much He came to earth and died on a cross so our sins could be forgiven. If we are sorry for our sins, confess them to Him, and ask Him to be our Saviour, He will forgive us. This does not mean we will never have troubling times, but it does mean Jesus will always be with us, no matter what we are experiencing. His presence gives us a great advantage over someone who does not know God and does not have His companionship when bad times come.
I entered Moukh Moukh and went immediately to the chief’s yard. He received me graciously and invited me to move about the village and take pictures. Ramadan had just concluded, and preparations were under way for a big celebration. Everyone was dressed for the occasion, and the Pulaar were streaming in to enjoy the festivities.
Walking over to the water tap, I had opportunity to interact with the men as they watered their herds and filled their containers for use in their camps. Pulaar men are confident and open to visitors. They are proud of their attire and animals and anxious to pose for photos.
Leaving the village, I stopped to eat my lunch under a shade tree. Soon hundreds of cattle began moving by on their way to a grazing area.
Each herd of 50 to 100 cattle had at least two shepherds walking and one on horseback. The shepherds were men who were able to provide security for the cattle with their brand. The shepherds stopped to visit and asked for water. They were eager to visit and be photographed.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Fulbe Jeeri to Find Eternal Life
1. Admit that they are sinners,
2. Understand that God loves them,
3. Find new and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
"But because of his great love for us, God...made us alive with Christ" (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Remember: JESUS CALMS THE SEA
Memory verse: Luke 8:25
" 'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples."
1. I believe Jesus is alive and is powerful.
2. Jesus will give me victory in every situation.
3. Intentionally, and with courage, I will face the challenges of life.
Pray for Fulbe Jeeri to find eternal life.
Study 9 | Will of God / Jesus is Lord | africaatts.org/go-teach