He’s the Master of the Sea

Title: He's the Master of the Sea

Bible Book: Luke 8 : 22-26

Author: Sammy Burgess

Subject: Lordship


{Editor's Note: In this sermon, the author makes reference to a storm in 1991. You could easily reference Hurricane Sandy to make this message current.]


Back in October of 1991, a storm stronger than any in recorded history hit the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The storm was officially known as “The Halloween nor’easter of 1991.” It has become known as “THE PERFECT STORM” - inspiring the book and movie with the same title.

It is called “The Perfect Storm” because it was 3 storms combined into one. Hurricane Grace that was beginning to die out in the Atlantic, energy coming across from the Great Lakes, and an old frontal system that was around the New England area.

Sebastian Junger in his book “The Perfect Storm” wrote, “A mature hurricane is by far the most powerful event on Earth. The combined nuclear arsenals of the United States and the former Soviet Union don’t contain enough energy to keep a hurricane going for one day.”

In the case of “The Perfect Storm”, when these 3 elements combined, it regenerated the hurricane creating an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic Ocean. Boats encountered waves of 100 ft; the equivalent of a 10-story building. Winds blasted over the ocean at more than 100 mph. Waves 30 and 40 feet high battered the New England Coast, destroying 200 homes, and property damage totaling $500 million. Nine people died, including the 6-man crew of a ‘sword-fish boat’ named the Andrea Gail from Gloucester, Massachusetts.

When I read these things about “The Perfect Storm” my mind immediately thought of the story that is in front of us. This story tells us that during the time that our Lord and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee, a storm of great proportions arose. We are told that the boat, alone with those in the boat was covered with the wind and the water that night.

The story has a happy ending because we are told that Jesus and His disciples made it to the other side; no one losing their life; everyone safe and sound. (This story is found in 3 of the Gospels; Matthew 8:23-27 ; Mark 4:35-41 ; Luke 8:22-26).

This story helps us to understand that - WE SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED WHEN WE GO THROUGH A STORM! You may be surprised (when) it comes; you may be surprised (how) it comes; you may even be surprised (where) it comes - but ladies and gentlemen, storms are a part of life and there is nothing we can do to prevent them.

I need to fill you in on something that learned as I was studying this particular story. I believe that our Lord does things in proper order; and He does what He does for particular reasons.

1) The Teaching That Is Excellent

If you study this same story in {Mark 4} you will find a particular order that Jesus uses. (1)- There Is The Teaching That Is Excellent. Jesus was the Master teacher of His day. In {Mark 4} you will find that He is teaching “Parables”. A “parable” is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning. Jesus used the boat as His pulpit and taught the people some great lessons that day. He had taught all day long, this is the reason why the disciples found Him in the “hinder” part of the boat. He was tired because He was man. But thank God we are going to discover that He was also God, because He was able to calm a raging storm.

2) The Test That Is Experienced

There are going to be times after Jesus eaches us His Word that He will then put His children through a test and see if they have learned anything that He has taught them. Jesus wants us not only to be “hearers” of His Word, He wants us to be “doers” of His Word.

3) The Trust That Is Expected

The Lord will put His children in a situation to where they have to trust Him. Jesus expects us to trust Him, even when we don’t understand why we are in the circumstance we are in.

If I may for just a moment help you to understand that this is the order the Lord often uses in our lives. First there is the teaching (there are some truths that we must know); then there is the testing (this is when the Lord puts us in a trial, a test to put to practice what we have learned); then there is the trusting. {Proverbs 3:5,6}- “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…”

This is what I want us to learn from this passage of Scripture. There are going to be times when the Lord allows us to go through a storm.

Now, since we know that we will have to go through storms, we should remember what we have been taught from God’s Word. Then, we should remember to put to practice those things that we have learned. But the most important lesson we should learn is - we must put our trust in the Lord, no matter what comes our way.

As Warren Wiersbe would say, “When we can’t trace God’s Hand, we can always trust God’s heart.”

Let me tell you up front one of the lessons that we are going to learn from our study. We are going to see that Jesus will test our faith in order that it may grow. We are doing to discover that even if our faith is weak, Jesus will not allow us to collapse. Jesus will hold us up and He will see us through.

There are 3 simple things that are seen in the passage of Scripture.

I. There Is The Moment Of The Storm

Look at {4:37}- “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.”

Keep in mind as you read the account in {Mark 4} that Jesus had been teaching by the Seaside. The crowd was so large that Jesus got into a boat that was docked and from the boat He spent the day teaching the multitude many things by Parables.

During the evening, Jesus told His disciples; {4:35}- “And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.” The Disciples lifted up the anchor and began a normal sailing trip across the Sea of Galilee that usually took about an hour and a half at the most. At some point during their trip, they found themselves in a storm.

The Moment of the Storm reminds us of the storms that we face in our lives. Think with me about 2 things as we look at this storm that arose.

A. The Storm Could Not Be Predicted By the Disciples

In our day and time, the weather can be predicted with fair accuracy. Science Meteorology with the use of satellites and other means, enable weather forecasters to be generally accurate in predicting the weather.

In the case of the disciples, being on the Sea of Galilee, storms were unpredictable. Storms would come suddenly and without warning. Many times a storm would come with vengeance.

The Sailors could look at the sky and then look at a calm sea and think that it would be perfectly safe to sail. Yet, in a matter of minutes they could be fighting for their lives.

The Sea of Galilee was located down between two hills, in a basin surrounded by hills. Through those hills were ravines, which made it possible for the wind to sweep down into the sea. From time to time cold air would use those ravines like a funnel. Cold air sweeping down onto the Sea of Galilee and hot air rising from the Sea would collide and cause a violent storm. The storm would just fall out of the thunder clouds. It could be perfectly calm one moment and the next moment people would find themselves in a furious fight with waves threatening the stability of the boat.

It appears as if the disciples found themselves in one of those unpredictable and unsuspected storms.

This story describes our lives. Things can be as calm as calm can be, then all of a sudden, we are engulfed with a severe storm. One moment we see the blue skies, sparkling with a new beginning. The next moment, without warning, sudden winds whip the calm waters into a terrible and violent storm.

Have you thought about the fact that storms intrude into our schedules whether we like it or not. Storms are great interrupters. Troubles and trials do not knock at our doors and ask if it would be all right if they have some of our time. Storms come no matter how important the person; no matter what the event may be - storms are unpredictable.

B. The Storm Would Not Be Partial To The Disciples

There is something in this story that I don’t want you to overlook or take for grant it. You will notice that it was the Disciples who found themselves in this storm. You will also notice that Jesus was on this boat. This means that when the storm came, these disciples were in the Presence of Jesus. They were close to Jesus.


These disciples were in the path of duty. They were obediently following the Lord wherever He went. They were daily attending to the Lord’s ministry; listening to His Word being taught.

This reminds me of the fact that God’s people ARE NOT exempt from storms. So many times we get the idea that if we are following the Lord; if we are close to the Lord, then we will be protected and sheltered from storms.

Listen carefully. If we are true Christians, we must not expect everything to be smooth in our journey to Heaven. We must not count it a strange thing if we have to endure sickness, losses, bereavements and disappointments.

I thought about something the other day. Since Jesus was on board, it seems to reason that He could have prevented this storm from taking place. As far as I can tell in this story, there was really no “real” reason for this storm; except for the fact that the Lord allowed it. That is all that can be explained about this storm.

This leads me to say this: God’s infinite Wisdom schedules our storms. This thought should be a great comfort to us because not only does (the Lord schedule the beginning of the storms) - He schedules the ending of the storms.


Psalms 107:25, “For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.”

Think about something. Jesus never promised that we (as Christians) would be free from afflictions. I believe that He loves us too much to promise us this.

Let me take a moment and teach you some things that we may learn from “afflictions” that come into our lives.

*(1) By Afflictions - Jesus teaches us many precious lessons that without them we would never learn.

*(2) By Afflictions - Jesus exposes to us our emptiness and our weakness.

*(3) By Afflictions - Jesus draws our attention from our self-sufficiency to the fact that God’s Grace is sufficient and will always be sufficient.

*(4) By Afflictions - Jesus weans us from the world and makes us long for Heaven.

You will discover that storms cannot be predicted and storms will not be partial. Storms are going to take place in your life.

Someone has said, “You are either in a storm right now; or you are getting out of a storm, or you are about to head into a storm. Either way, you will have storms in your life.”

Before we move on in our study, I would like for you to listen to what John Butler said about storms, “A life without trials is not good for our character, and God does not want His people to have poor character. Hence, we will experience plenty of trials in this life.”

We may not like storms, but don’t be surprised at the moment they come.

II. There Is The Misery Of The Storm

Now this was not just any kind of storm the disciples found them selves in.

Matthew 8:24 describes it as a “great tempest.”

Mark 4:37 calls it “a great storm of wind.”

Luke 8:23 we are told that “there came down a storm of wind on the lake:”

This storm challenged the talents and trust of the disciples. I want us to notice the misery that was found in this storm.

A. The Severity Of The Storm They Faced

These descriptions of the storm that was given in the Gospels give us an insight of how severe it really was.

This storm was not a single gust of wind; it was not a steadily blowing wind.

Matthew 8:24 “great tempest” means “mega” - “great”. It means a shaking such as in an earth-quake. This storm shook things up on the Sea of Galilee.

Mark 4:37 & Luke 8:23 tell us about this storm being a “great storm; wind” … “storm of wind.” This word “wind” describes “a whirlwind” … “tornado” … “hurricane”. These words are used to describe a furious storm or hurricane.

This was a ferocious and violent storm. This boat was tossed about by the violent wind; the waves were reaching such heights that it was filling the boat with water. These disciples were in danger of being over-turned at any moment.

This storm exceeded all their past experiences. They had not experienced such a storm before. The other storms were mild compared to this particular one.

I have heard people talking about some of the things that they are going through now or things they have been through in the past. “It hasn’t been this bad before. This is the most difficult situation I have been through in my life. I didn’t know that it could be this bad.”

B. The Struggle In The Storm They Felt

When you think of these disciples, you think of men that were trained and skilled sailors. Why should they have to struggle? Storms shouldn’t make skilled men such as these men struggle as much as they did. They should have known what to do. They should have known how to act.

We find in Luke’s account - {Luke 8:23}- “there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, AND WERE IN JEOPARDY.”

My question is this; If they are use to storms, then why not just use their skills and get through the storm?

Richard C. Trench, “These men, exercised to the sea from their youth, familiar with all the changes of that lake, would have not been scared by the mere shadow and ghost of a danger.”

Let me tell you why they struggled in this particular storm. This was not just ‘another thunder-storm’ they were going through. The fact that they panicked and struggled teaches us that this storm was too great for them to handle on their own. These men were no sissy’s. They were acquainted with sailing through storms. They had gotten use to the waters on the Sea of Galilee.

This was a storm designed by God for them to teach them a lesson. The Lord was going to teach them that there would be times when they wouldn’t know which way to turn. The Lord was going to teach them that they would get into situations where their resources would be insufficient.

I can imagine the panic that is on their faces. I can see each one of them looking at one another trying to figure out just how they are going to get out of this mess.

They are in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. The winds are out of control. The water is filling the boat. The weight of the water is now on their clothes. They couldn’t work like they ought to work because they were wet. They don’t know what to do.

So they begin to be afraid. Their hope of survival is now quickly slipping away. The storm was now so severe that they are out of control.

The Condition Of The Storm:

The waves were so high that they were going over the boat.

The water was crashing up against the boat and flooding the boat.

The wind was about to make the boat turn over.

Their resources were little compared to their storm. If something or some one doesn’t come up with a good idea, the boat is going to sink; and if the boat sank, they would not be able to survive such a storm if they had to try to swim to shore.

FEAR SETS IN! FRUSTRATION SETS IN! FAILURE SETS IN! This was the greatest storm that they had ever faced. [Their anchor would not be able to hold their boat.] - [Their sailing skills are now useless.] - [Their “lessons on surviving the storm” they learned are all used up.] And the way things are going, this might be the last storm they may ever face.

Listen carefully. The storms we face many times fill our hearts with “fear”. Then a feeling of “frustration” and “failure” set in. The angry winds and dashing waves can cause us to fear - thinking that we may be going under. The magnitude of the storm is far beyond our resources to fight or face.

We find ourselves trying to cope with it, but just a matter of moments fear sets in and we feel like that we are not going to make it.

What do you do when you are faced with a fierce situation? What do you do when it seems like all your hope is taken from you? What do you do when you have used all your known resources, and you don’t know which way to turn next? (The Severity Of The Storm They Faced) - (The Struggle In The Storm They Felt)

C. The Supplication For The Storm They Formed

When the storm threatened the lives of the disciples, they did what you and I would do, THEY WENT TO THE LORD FOR HELP!

Look at Luke 8:24, “And THEY CAME TO HIM.”

The disciples stopped turning to one another and turned to the Only One that could help them. They had reached the place to where they realized that there was no other person who could save them from this severe storm - EXCEPT JESUS!

If you haven’t heard anything I have said up to this point of our study, I want you to pay close attention to this next statement. THERE WILL COME A DAY WHEN GOD WILL PUT YOU IN A POSITION (in a storm) WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE ANY OTHER CHOICE BUT TO TURN TO HIM!

There are some of you that have been slack concerning your Church attendance; just let a severe storm come your way and you will get back to where you need to be.

There are some of you that have been letting up in your personal time with God; just let a severe storm come your way and you will find the time to spend with God.

There are some of you that have just about quit on God all together; just let a severe storm come into your life and you will then realize that you can’t live or breathe without Him! (4)- There are some of you that have put the Lord in second place in your life; just let a storm come your way, and the things you put before Him won’t be near as important then as they are now.

I have learned a valuable lesson in my life - STORMS HAVE A WAY OF DRIVING US BACK TO GOD!

These disciples should have turned to Jesus first. They had seen Him perform many Miracles in the past. They had seen Him do Supernatural Works in the past.

At this point of the story the disciples were facing one of the greatest enemies any Christian will ever face - the enemy of “fear”. The disciples had “fear” because they had lost faith.

When the storm arose, they shouldn’t have feared or fretted. They should have went straight to Him and let Him handle the situation. But they became afraid because they got to the place to where they couldn’t handle the storm by their selves any more, so they ran and got Jesus to help them.

We should never get to the point to where Jesus is the last resort in our lives. Jesus should be the first resource of your lives.

Let me say this for your benefit and I hope for your encouragement. You may be here and you know that you haven’t been the Christian that God wants you to be - if you are in a storm; or you are heading into a storm, I am going to make you a Promise. If you will turn to the Lord, He will be there to see you through.

III. There Is The Master Of The Storm

There is a song that goes something like this:

“He’s been there all the time…

Waiting patiently in line;

He was there all the time.”

There are some of you that are facing the (storms of suffering) - the (hurricane of heartache) - the (tempest of turmoil). You may be wondering what the disciples were thinking…

Look at Mark 4:38, “And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, MASTER, CAREST THOU NOT THAT WE PERISH?”

I can hear the disciples telling the Lord; “Lord, don’t just lie there; do something. We are about to go under. If You don’t come through for us, then we’re through. Help us; please!”

There is something interesting here in this story. We are told that Jesus was sound to sleep while this storm was going on.

Mark 4:38, “And He was asleep IN THE HINDER PART of the ship.”

The “hinder part of the ship” where Jesus was riding was where the pilot of the ship stayed. This reminds us that Jesus was not only in control of the storm - JESUS WAS CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP!

Often times we find ourselves in a storm and we begin to question if God really cares. I want you to know that JESUS CARES ABOUT YOU! He cares about you and the situation you are facing. Now let me explain to you why I know Jesus Cares.

If you have been paying careful attention to the story, you have learned that by now that this boat is filled with water. It has been tossed all in the water. It is about to go under.

But Jesus is still asleep. He was exhausted from teaching the great multitude that day. He means that He was fully man. But it wasn’t the storm that woke Him up.

The condition of the storm didn’t wake Jesus up; IT WAS THE CRY OF THE SAINTS THAT WOKE JESUS UP! Yes Jesus cares! Look at Him. HE IS NOT SLEEPING - HE IS NOW STANDING!

I can see Jesus now. His robe was wet with water; the foam of the wind blown water was in His beard. He stands to His feet - in the captains quarters and He takes control of the situation.

There was no need for the disciples to be afraid. The storm had risen to its peak - but now King Jesus rises to His Position.

The Storm Arose Suddenly but THE SAVIOR AROSE SUPREMELY. Look at {4:37}- “Then there arose a great storm of wind” Now look at {4:39}- “AND HE AROSE” This Great Storm Was About To Meet It’s Match! THE DISCIPLES WERE NOT GOING DOWN - THEY WERE GOING OVER! They were not defeated - they were about to be delivered.

Psalms 44:26, “Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercies’ sake.”

As we close, I want us to 3 things we see as the Lord arose in this storm.

A. There Is The Power Of The Lord Over The Storm

We are told that when He arose, He {4:39}- “And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a GREAT CALM.”

Mark 4:39 gives us the words that Jesus spoke; "peace be still", which literally means, "be muzzled." Jesus told the winds and waves; “Sit down and shut up!” The winds and waves lay down at His command like whimpering puppies at His feet and there was a great calm.

Dr. Jerry Vines said, “Do you think for one moment that a puddle of water can stymie Omnipotence.”

You think about something. Any delay in stopping the storm would have resulted in the boat sinking and the passengers on board drowning. So there was an instant calming of the storm.

The instant calming that came to the Sea of Galilee is supernatural. Normally, even after the wind has died down, it takes a long time for a sea to calm down. A sudden stoppage of the wind will not result in a sudden stoppage of the waves. Once a sea or lake is churned up, it can take hours to calm down. {continue}…

But here the sea became calm instantly. {Mark 4:39}- “And the wind ceased, and THERE WAS A GREAT CALM.” This fact substantiates that the stopping of the storm here by Christ was indeed a Divine Miracle. There was an eerie silence - as if Jesus took His great Hand and brushed away the wind and pressed down the Sea.

Dr. Jerry Vines, “The winds fell as if they were shot with a tranquilizing dart. The sea turned into a mirror of glass.”

The Lord has power over the storms that we face in our life. He can calm our troubled seas. The winds in your life may be reaching record proportions and the waves may be rising to unprecedented heights, but the Lord can speak the words, "Peace be still" and calm the storm instantly.

I think of a story that Robert Louis Stevenson told. A ship was caught in a storm off a rocky coast. The winds and waves threatened to drive the ship to its destruction. In the midst of the terror, one passenger groped along a passageway, making his way across the ship to the pilothouse. There he beheld an intriguing sight. The ship's pilot was fastened to his post. Secure against the raging elements, he held the wheel fast, turning the ship, inch by inch, out to sea. The pilot saw the watcher and smiled.

The passenger made his way back below deck where the other passengers huddled. He said to them, "I have seen the face of the pilot, and he smiled. All is well."

Are you in a storm? Then look to the Lord! Look into His Face. He is at the wheel; He is the Master of the sea and His Face says “All is well”. He can calm our stormy seas.

B. There Is The Presence Of The Lord In The Storm

Notice 4:36, "And when they had sent away the multitude, they took Him even as He was in the ship. And there were also with Him other little ships."

As the boat that carried the Lord set sail, there was “other little ships” that followed. This seems to suggest to me that these ships were also caught in the storm. But there is one difference between the other little ships and the ship the disciples were on. Jesus was on board the ship with the disciples.

He may have been sleeping, but none-the-less He was on board. The Lord was present! Thank God He is with us when we go through the storm. Whether He is sleeping or standing, we are safe in the storm when He is with us.

I read a story about a little boy that was to have heart surgery. The surgeon sat beside the boy's bed and his parents sat across from him. The surgeon said to the little boy, "Tomorrow morning, I'll open up your heart." The little boy interrupted the surgeon and said; "You'll find Jesus there." The surgeon looked annoyed and continued, "I'll cut your heart open to see how much damage has been done." The little boy quickly said, "But when you open up my heart, you'll find Jesus there." The surgeon looked at the parents, ignoring the little boy, "When I see how much damage has been done, I will know what to do next."

Again the little boy said, "But you'll find Jesus in my heart. The Bible says He lives there. You'll find Him in my heart." The surgeon had had enough and he said to the little boy, "I'll tell you what I'll find there. I'll find damaged muscle, low blood supply, and weakened vessels. I'll find out if I can make you well." Once again the little boy said, "You'll find Jesus there. He lives there."

After surgery, the surgeon sat in his office recording his notes from the surgery: "damaged aorta, damaged pulmonary vein, widespread muscle degeneration. No hope for transplant, no hope for cure. Therapy: painkillers and bed rest. Prognosis:," he paused before recording his next words, "death within one year." He stopped his recorder and sat there.

Then he asked aloud, "Why? Why did You do this? You put him here. You put him in this pain. You cursed him to an early death. Why?" Then the Lord began to speak to the heart of the surgeon: "The boy was not meant to live long on this earth. He belongs to Me and soon he will be with Me forever."

Hot tears started running down the surgeon's face and in anger he said aloud, "You created that boy, and You created that heart. He'll be dead in months. Why?" Then the Lord spoke to the heart of the surgeon, "I sent the boy to reach you and make you one of My children."

Later the surgeon sat down beside the little boy's bed; the parents sat across from him. The little boy awoke and whispered, "Did you cut open my heart?" "Yes," said the surgeon. "What did you find?" asked the little boy. "I found Jesus there," said the surgeon.

I want you to know that when you go through the storm you will find Jesus there. He is on board. He is with us.

C. There Is The Promise Of The Lord For The Storm

Once again notice {4:35} and pay close attention to what Jesus said: "And the same day, when the even was come, He saith unto them, 'Let us pass over unto the other side."

Notice Mark 5:1, "And they came over unto the other side of the sea."

I like what {Luke 8:26} said: “AND THEY ARRIVED.”

He told them that they were going to the other side and they got to the other side. He did not promise them smooth sailing but He was promising them a safe landing. He told them they were going to the other side.

The Lord has promised us that we are going to the other side. It matters not how dark the skies may get, it matters not how strong the winds may blow, or how high the waves may get. We are going to the other side. That is the Lord's promise. When you go through the storm don't ever forget His promise. We are going to make it!

I want you to learn 2 valuable lessons from this story.

(1)- The Boat Could Not Sink Because Jesus

Was On Board.

(2)- The Storm Wasn’t Going To Last Forever.

Listen carefully.

You are not going under you are going over.

I would rather be in a storm with Jesus than in a calm anywhere else.

Safety is not the absence of the storm - it is the Presence of the Savior.

We need “REAL FAITH” in the Lord Jesus to make it through the storms of life.

Faith does not necessarily mean that every time a storm comes - we can call upon the Lord and He will immediately calm the storm down.

Some times Jesus will say to the [wind] and the [waves] “PEACE BE STILL” and there will be a great calm to the storm. *Other times Jesus will say to the saint “PEACE BE STILL” and there will be a great calm in the saint.

Some times Jesus will change the situation for the saint. Other times Jesus will change the saint in the situation.

There will be times that Jesus will remove the ‘mountains’ from our lives. Then there will be times that that Jesus will enable us to walk over the ‘mountain’ in our lives.

Psalms 29:10, 11, “The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King forever. {11}- The Lord will give strenth unto His people; THE LORD WILL BLESS HIS PEOPLE WITH PEACE.”

Psalms 107:27-31, “They reel to and fro, and staggar like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end. {28}- Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses. {29}- He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. {30}- Then they are glad because the be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven.

107:31, “Oh that men would praise the Lord FOR HIS GOODNESS, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.”


He’s the One Who sails with Me - HE’S THE MASTER OF THE SEA!


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