From Matthew 8:

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

What did they expect him to do? Clearly, they expected that He could save them. So why were they do surprised by this?


His disciples simply lacked faith in Him being the Christ. As Jesus said "O ye of little faith" in verse 26.

It took miracles to get His disciples to have full confidence and faith in who He said He was. Some believed with less miracles such as Nathanael.

Gospel of John Chapter 1

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

Some it took seeing Him after His resurrection.

Gospel of John Chapter 20

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

  • That’s true. That being said, what do you think that they were expecting Jesus to do here? On the one hand, they asked Him to save them, but then they acted all shocked when He actually did. – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Apr 21 '19 at 17:10
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    It seems they expected Him to do something but not so much as to control the weather itself. We can only ponder. In their moment of panic, they cried for help and expected Him to do something, and maybe that is all they expected. Something. – www.gffg.info Apr 21 '19 at 17:53

Let us look at these in parallel renderings of the event...

Matt 8:38 - The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

Mark 4:38 - Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Luke 8:24 - The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Of the three Gospels, only Matthew mentions the disciples asking Jesus to save them. The other Gospels simply explain the disciples waking Jesus up while they panic.

It’s quite possible that the other two Gospels are closer to what happened; particularly since all the Gospels report that they were amazed at Jesus’ calming the storm.

If Matthew is what really happened we could only speculate about what they expected Jesus to do.

  • Interesting point... out of curiosity, what did they mean by the “don’t you care” question? – EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica Apr 21 '19 at 17:38
  • I take it as their amazement that Jesus could sleep through the storm – Mike Pennington Apr 21 '19 at 18:31

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