Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them,
Let us go over to the other side of the lake.
And they launched forth.
Read Chapter 8
Ambrose of Milan
We are told above, moreover, that He passed the night in prayer. How then does He here fall asleep in a storm? The security of power is expressed, that while all were afraid, He alone lay fearless; but He lay asleep in the body, while in the mind he was in the mystery of divinity. For nothing happens without the Word.
Our Lord therefore, who knew that He came upon earth for a divine mystery, having left His kinsfolk, went up into the ship.
You must remember that no one can pass from the course of this life without temptations, for temptation is the trial of faith. We are therefore subject to the storms of spiritual wickedness, but as watchful sailors we must awake the Pilot, who does not obey but commands the winds, who although He now no longer sleeps in the sleep of His own body, yet let us beware, lest through the sleep of our bodies He is to us asleep and at rest. But they are rightly reproved who feared, when Christ was present; since he surely who clings to Him can in no wise per...
Matthew says, Master, save us, we perish. Mark, Master, care you not that we perish? There is the same expression in all of men awakening our Lord, and anxious for their safety. Nor is it worth while to inquire which of these was most likely to have been said to Christ. For whether they said one of these three, or some other words which no Evangelist has mentioned, but of the same import, what matter is it? Though at the same time this may have been the case, that by the many who awoke Him, all these things were said, one by one, and another by another.
Now this is related by the other Evangelists in different words. For Matthew says, that Jesus said, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? but Mark as follows, Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith i. e. that perfect faith like the grain of mustard seed. Mark then also says, O you of little faith; but Luke, Where is your faith? And indeed all these may have been said, Why are you fearful? Where is your faith? O y...
Or, it was not His disciples, but the sailors and others in the ship who ho wondered.
His disciples also, when summoned, enter in with Him. Hence He says, If any one will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. While His disciples are sailing, that is, the faithful passing through this world, and meditating in their minds the rest of the world to come, and by the breath of the Holy Spirit, or also their own exertions, eagerly leaving behind them the unbelieving pride of the world, suddenly our Lord fell asleep, that is, the time of our Lord's passion was come, and the storm descended. For when our Lord entered the sleep of death upon the cross, the waves of persecution rose, stirred up by the breath of the devil, but while the patience of the Lord is not disturbed by the waves, the faint hearts of the disciples are shaken and tremble. They awoke our Lord lest they should perish while He slept, because having seen His death they wish for His resurrecti...
When Christ calmed the storm, he also changed the faith of the holy disciples that was shaken along with the ship into confidence. He no longer permitted it to be in doubt. He worked a calm in them, smoothing the waves of their weak faith. He said, “Where is your faith?” Another Evangelist, however, affirms that he said, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” When the fear of death unexpectedly befalls people, it sometimes troubles even a wellestablished mind and exposes it to the blame of smallness of faith. This is also the effect of any other trouble too great to bear upon those it tries. Commentary on Luke, Homily
There is also much in this for the admiration and improvement of those who hear. Creation is obedient to whatever Christ chooses to command. What excuse can help us if we do not submit to do the same? What excuse can deliver from the fire and condemnation one who is disobedient and not easily led? He sets up, so to speak, the neck of his haughty mind against Christ’s commands, and his heart is impossible to soften. Understanding that all those things that have been brought into existence by God entirely agree with his will, it is our duty to become like the rest of creation and avoid disobedience as a thing that leads to perdition. Let us rather submit to him who summons us to salvation and to the desire of living uprightly and lawfully, that is, evangelically. Christ will fill us with the gifts that come from above and from him. Commentary on Luke, Homily
But it seems to have been especially and wonderfully ordained that they should not seek His assistance when first the storm began to affect the boat, but after the danger had increased, in order that the power of the Divine Majesty might be made more manifest. Hence it is said, And they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. This indeed our Lord allowed for the sake of trial, that having confessed their danger they should acknowledge the greatness of the miracle. Hence when their great danger had driven them into intolerable fear, having no other hope of safety but the Lord of power Himself, they awoke Him. It follows, And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, we perish.
But it could not be that they should perish while the Almighty was with them. Christ then arose, Who has power over all things, and immediately quells the storm and the violence of the wind, and the tempest ceased, and there was a calm. Herein He shows Himself to be God, to Whom it is said, You rule t...
He who was sleeping was awakened and cast the sea into a sleep. He reveals the wakefulness of his divinity that never sleeps by the wakefulness of the sea that was now sleeping. He rebuked the wind and it became still. What is this power, or what is this goodness of Jesus? See, he subjected by force that which was not his. Our Lord showed that he was the Son of the Creator by means of the wind of the sea and by the spirits and demons that he silenced. Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron
We are also sailing on a voyage, not from one land to another but from earth to heaven. Let us prepare our power of reasoning as a pilot able to conduct us on high, and let us gather a crew obedient to it. Let us prepare a strong ship, the kind that the buffeting and discouragements of this life will not submerge, or the wind of false pretense raise up, but will be sleek and swift. If we prepare the ship, pilot and the crew in this way, we will sail with a favoring wind and draw to ourselves the Son of God, the true Pilot. He will not permit our ship to be overwhelmed, even if countless winds blow. He will rebuke the winds and the sea and will bring about a great calm in place of the tempest. Commentary on St.
Luke indeed avoids the question which might be put to him with regard to the order of time, saying, that He went into a ship on acertain day. Now if the storm had arisen when our Lord was awake, the disciples either had not feared, or not believed that He could do such a thing. For this cause He sleeps, giving them an occasion for fear; for it follows, But as they sailed he fell asleep; and there camedown a storm of wind on the lake.