Matthew 8:24 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 8:24, NIV: Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

Matthew 8:24, ESV: And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.

Matthew 8:24, KJV: And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

Matthew 8:24, NASB: And behold, a violent storm developed on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.

Matthew 8:24, NLT: Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

Matthew 8:24, CSB: Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves--but Jesus kept sleeping.

What does Matthew 8:24 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus and His hand-picked disciples are on a boat on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:18). Jesus is sleeping soundly when a sudden storm comes up. These types of intense squalls are common on this body of water, which sits 600 feet below sea level and is surrounded by steep hills. Violent winds and choppy waves can quickly threaten an unprepared watercraft.

Matthew was likely there that day and describes the boat being swamped by the waves. Boats are "swamped" when water begins to pour over the sides. Larger sailing ships have covered decks that can shed this water—small open boats do not. If the waves crash water into the boat faster than the men can scoop it out, the craft will sink.

That Jesus was able to sleep through all of this is fascinating on its own. The fact that He was sleeping also contributed to the disciple's panic. They may have wondered if Jesus even knew what was happening. Some of them were experienced fisherman who had spent many years on that lake. All of them were apparently worried about being killed in the storm.