The story of Jesus Calming the stormy waves is a fun and fascinating one to share with children, but it’s about more than just a natural disaster miracle. Use the events of Mark 4 to remind students that God is in control of our lives. He can bring us peace when we feel frightened or upset, just as Jesus calmed the Sea of Galilee. This message includes an interactive recreation of the event as well as an object lesson illustration.
Law/Gospel Theme: It can be hard to understand what God is doing in our lives or in every-day events. Sometimes we think that He is out to judge our mistakes and missteps. This story reminds kids that Jesus is present and in control, even when it seems He is hidden or “asleep in the bottom of the boat.” He cares for us and will keep us safe no matter what. He can still our anxious minds just as He brought peace to stormy weather.
Optional Materials: Clear cup, vinegar, oil, baking soda
Bible Passage: Mark 4:35-41
Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon and related Bible craft ideas
- Compare our full Mark 4:35-41 Sunday School Lesson
- Compare our preschool lesson for Jesus calming the storm
- Compare the Jesus Calms the Store Lesson from Mission Bible Class
Children’s Sermon (Mark 4:35-41) Jesus Calms the Storm
Greet the children, and open up with a noisy activity…
Hello, children of God! Today I have a very exciting and interesting story I want to share with you about something Jesus did. But first, I want you to help me try a little something that will be part of the tale… When I give you the signal (demonstrate some sort of signal; pointing or raising arms), I want you to make a whole bunch of noise, okay? But then when I signal you to stop (show another signal to cue an end), I want you to be quiet right away. Do you think you can do that? Let’s give it a try… Do a couple of rounds of this, encouraging students to cease the mayhem immediately at the signal.
That was pretty good! Well, what if you could do that with things in your life…what if you could do that with the weather? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just give a signal and change the weather? Believe it or not, that is exactly what Jesus does in today’s Gospel lesson! Jesus and His disciples were out on a boat, and a storm picked up.
Now, remember that the disciples were fishermen, so they knew how to handle a boat and ride out waves. But this was a huge storm, with wind and rain and big waves! They started to get worried. They were so afraid that they didn’t know what to do and thought they might drown. Through all of this, do you know where Jesus was? He was asleep! Can you believe that, just snoozing in the boat! Well, the disciples woke Him up and asked for help. Jesus got up, and told the waves “Peace! Be still!”
All of a sudden, it was completely calm. It didn’t even have to gradually die down, it was instant stillness on the water. The disciples were amazed, and asked who this man could possibly be, that even the wind and waves would obey Him at a simple word. Well, this man was God Himself, of course, the author and ruler of wind and waves. Jesus could certainly command the weather, but it seemed pretty remarkable to His followers.
You know, this is a fascinating story, and it demonstrates God’s amazing power. But it also reminds us of some other important things. Do you ever feel worried or scared? Jesus cares! He is in control, even when it might seem like He’s “asleep” in the boat. Let’s make our own little storm here: Take a look at this cup here. If this liquid (hold up vinegar) is you, things that make you anxious or frightened kind of stir up your emotions (pour in baking soda) and make you feel like you’re “stormy” inside, almost bubbling over! But when we pray and put our trust in Jesus (Pour in oil), His power can calm our hearts and settle our nervous minds. He brings us lasting peace and stills the worries that threaten us. If Jesus can control the weather with just a simple command, we can be confident that He has power over our fears. We can ask Him for help, hope, and guidance. When things are rough, remember He is there in the boat with us! Trust in Him for strength. He will calm the storms in our lives!
Let’s say a prayer to thank God for taking care of us, and ask Him to help us trust in His power for peace in our lives:
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for being in control
You can calm the weather and waves
And you bring peace to my troubled heart
Thank you for taking care of me
Help me trust in you for all things
Thank you for your love
I love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” –Mark 4:35-41