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?’ (Mark 4:37-38 NIV)
To start with Peter, Andrew, James and John are all seasoned fishermen. They would have been quite used to the squalls or windstorms in the Sea of Galilee. If this squall is something that they cannot handle, then this tells us the magnitude of the storm they are facing. They are struggling to keep their boat afloat.
What is Jesus doing in the boat? He is asleep on a cushion in the stern. How can Jesus sleep through the storm? Apparently, he can. The picture is that all the disciples are trying to keep the boat afloat. Yet Jesus is not too worried. He sleeps through the dilemma.
Sometimes when we go through the storms in our lives, Jesus seems to be asleep at the stern. He is at the front of the boat. However, he asleep. He doesn’t seem to be too concerned with the storm we are going through. It is at this point that we ask Jesus the same question that the disciples ask “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” It is the voice of desperation. It is the voice of despair. It is the voice of prayer.
What does Jesus do when the disciples ask him this question? He rebukes the winds. He says to the storm, “Quiet, be still!”. Jesus answers their prayer. However, he teaches them something about himself. He shows them that he has authority over the wind and the waves. The disciples discover this new view of Jesus.
The disciples show us that in their cry of desperation and Jesus’ response, they discover a new view of Jesus. It is the same with us. As Jesus responds to our cries, he very often leads us to a new understanding of himself.