During his ministry, Jesus demonstrated his authority over the sea and its destructive power. He walked on the stormy water (Mark 6:47-50; Matt. 14:22-33; John 6:16-20). And he calmed the storms on the sea (Mark 4:35-41; Matt. 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25).

At one point, Jesus even empowered his disciple to walk on the water (Matt. 14:28-32). Peter’s cry of “Lord, save me!” as he began to sink into the sea takes on intense meaning in light of the sea’s symbolism for evil (Matt. 14:30).

When Jesus demonstrated power over the sea, the disciples’ reaction was profound. They were both amazed (Matt. 14:33; Mark 6:51) and terrified (Mark 4:41) of Jesus’ power. They recognized that his power was more than just authority over the elements of nature. Several Old Testament heroes had controlled nature; for example, at Elijah’s word, it did not rain for years (1 Kings 17:1). And James suggested that such feats might be possible for all righteous people (James 5:15-18). But only God controlled the Abyss.

The stilling of the storm produced not only awe at the power of God within Jesus, but also the realization that he was God. “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God?” (Matt. 14:33).

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