What does Mark 4:37 mean?
ESV: And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
NIV: A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
NASB: And a fierce gale of wind *developed, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling with water.
CSB: A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.
NLT: But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water.
KJV: And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
NKJV: And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
Verse Commentary:
During a drought in 1986, two fishermen brothers who were also amateur archaeologists found a boat in the Sea of Galilee. They contacted antiquity authorities who excavated the remains and dated the cedar boat to between 100 BC and AD 200.

Originally, the boat was about 27 feet long, 7-1/2 feet wide, and 4 feet high. It had a sail, a pointed bow, and a rounded aft section. It's likely Jesus and His disciples were in a similar type of boat. The experienced fishermen in Jesus' group could have maneuvered such a boat easily, but it still would have been big enough to fit Jesus and the twelve, at least under calm weather conditions.

The Sea of Galilee sits 680 feet below sea level and is nearly surrounded by hills. Winds, as high as sixty miles an hour, blow from the southwest and cause great storms, usually in the afternoon. The water is fairly shallow at 200 feet, causing violent waves as high as ten feet on the shores. The Golan Heights grab the winds and swirl them around unpredictably. When the storms come at night, they are even fiercer.

In this incident, the skies are dark. The waves are high. The winds are violent enough to tear the sail. The boat is filling with water. And even if the experienced fishermen could see the other boats that came with them, they wouldn't be able to reach them. Experienced Bible-readers know what happens next—the disciples awaken Jesus, and Jesus calms the storm and scolds them for their lack of faith.

But what would our reaction be in similar circumstances? When our world grows dark and everything seems turned around, it's easy to get frightened. When we call out for Jesus' help, do we ask in faith that He will hear us?
Verse Context:
Mark 4:35–41 is part of a passage expounding on Jesus' authority. He has demonstrated power over sickness (Mark 3:7–10), demons (Mark 1:21–26), and the Sabbath (Mark 2:23–28). Now He controls the wind and the sea. Next, He will conquer a legion of demons (Mark 5:1–13), social conventions (Mark 5:25–34), and death (Mark 5:21–24, 35–43). In this miracle, Jesus displays His authority over nature, specifically conditions that His disciples know and rightfully fear. The story of the storm is also recorded in Matthew 8:23–27 and Luke 8:22–25.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks in parables to the assembled crowd, giving them an opportunity to decide how much spiritual truth they want to absorb. The disciples, wanting to learn more, ask Jesus to explain the meaning of the parables He has taught. As Jesus explains these ideas, He demonstrates that a person's spiritual knowledge is based on their willingness to pursue truth. After describing Jesus' teaching in some detail, the Gospel of Mark describes how Jesus calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Chapter Context:
Mark 3 explores the different ways people react to Jesus' teaching and miracles. They either follow Him, use Him, hide Him, or destroy Him. In Mark 4, Jesus explains why people react the way they do. He uses parables to explain who is serious about learning from Him. The softer a person's heart is, the more truth God will reveal. Soon, the twelve will also spread Jesus' message, although they will not be responsible for the spiritual growth of those who believe. The following chapter returns to depicting Jesus' miracles, including two of His most famous.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
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