Jesus Stills the Tempest

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 11 - God's Power Works Through Jesus

TEXT: Mark 4:35-41


The students will describe how the miracle related in today's lesson proves that Jesus has power over the elements (the wind and the sea).


Introduction: Play a recorded forecast of the weather. Ask the children if the weatherman can make the weather happen the way he says it will. Tell them that today you are going to study one Man who did (and does!) have the power to control the weather.

  1. Jesus and His disciples were in a boat, passing over to the other side of the sea.
  2. As Jesus slept, a great storm arose and the water came into the ship.
  3. The disciples were afraid for their lives, and they woke Jesus.
  4. Jesus rebuked the wind, and commanded the sea to become still.

Climax: Immediately the wind and the waves ceased, and there was a great calm.

Conclusion: Jesus had (and has) power over the elements of nature.

Response: Your students will be able to describe how Jesus demonstrated his power over nature by commanding the storm to cease.


Because of its geographic location, the Sea of Galilee is subject to sudden, violent storms that can whip the lake into a tempest. It was into one of these storms that Jesus knew He and His disciples would be sailing, yet He could lie down and sleep in the back of the boat. These men were seasoned fishermen who had sailed through many storms on this very sea but now they were faced with a storm so fierce they could not cope, but Jesus could rest securely in the care of His heavenly Father.

When the fearful disciples finally aroused Jesus He rebuked the wind. In the original language, the words Jesus used to rebuke the wind are the same as those He used to rebuke the demons (Mark 1:25). The sudden obedience of the wind and waves caused the disciples more fear than the storm itself (Mark 4:41). They must have begun to realize that they were in the presence of One who had the power of God Almighty.


  • Bring an electric fan to move air (for wind), and a big pan of water. Read to children from Genesis 1:10 of how God created water so He has power over it too.
  • Use the fan to disturb the water and play a recorded voice saying, "Peace be still," to show how God can calm things that He made.
  • Give each child a cut-out of a boat (see Patterns) and a piece of blue paper. Have the children draw a calm sea on one side of their paper and a stormy sea on the other side. Let them act out the story and change the "sea" as the weather changes.
  • Fill a large Zip-loc bag about ¼ full with thick tempera or finger paint. Press as much air out of the bag as possible, and close bag securely. Use your finger to draw the story. Erase by rubbing the palm of your hand over the bag to smooth the paint.
  • Fill a quart jar ½ full with water. Add ¼ cup of oil and some blue food coloring. Shake the jar to show a tempest. Let the children make the sound effects of the storm. Hold the jar still and tell the children to be very quiet to show what it was like after the storm.
  • Give each child (or let them construct) a walnut shell boat. Place florist's clay inside the shell half. Cut sail from construction paper and insert toothpick. Push sail into clay. Place your boats on a piece of blue flannel cloth as a sea. Let the children scatter wisps of cotton across cloth to represent waves. Quickly gather these up when Jesus calms the sea.
  • Make a circle book of the memory verse for each child (see Patterns). Help them assemble it as you review the verse, threading each circle onto a piece of yarn.  When it's all together tie a bow.


  1. Why do you ask Jesus to help you when you are frightened?
  2. Why does Jesus help us when we ask Him?
  3. Who was with Jesus in the account we have for today's lesson? Where were they going? What happened on the way?
  4. Did the disciples need to be afraid? Why or why not?
  5. Can anything bad happen to us and Jesus not be there or not know?
  6. Do we ever need to be fearful or afraid? What will help us to not be afraid?
  7. Jesus was able to solve the problem. What problems do we have that He cannot solve?
  8. What was responsible for the disciples' fear? Does the same lack in people today cause them to be afraid? If so, what can we do about it?
  9. Considering the many miracles the disciples had seen Jesus perform, why do you suppose they were surprised that He could calm the wind and waves?


  • A little child will shut his eyes and cover his face with his hands, and pretend no one can see him. But we can, even if he thinks we can't. Though the child can't see us, we can see him. At night, God sees us. He never sleeps or slumbers. When everything is dark to us, it is light to God (Psalm 139:12). Strange sounds at night are scary because we don't see what is making the sound. But God sees, and He knows. He will help us not to be afraid of that big "hoot" owl or that big cat.
  • Use toy boats and fans. Make a paper storm and paper calm using the following items cut from construction paper:
    Storm: Gray/black clouds, yellow lightning, gray raindrops on strings
    Calm: White clouds, yellow sun
    Let the children hold these elements as you tell the story.
  • Make a paper pinwheel on the top of a pencil. Fill a balloon with air and blow it at the pinwheel. Cut off the air to illustrate what happened when God said, "Peace be still."


Bring a coin to class. Place it on top of your head and ask a student to try to get it without taking his feet off the ground. For you it is easy but for the student (make sure he is shorter than you) it is impossible. Talk about how God is so much bigger than we are and the things that are impossible for us are easy for God. He has control of everything, even the wind and the sea.

Give each child in your group a cut-out boat glued onto a popsicle stick. Encourage them to make their boats "rock" on the waves as you describe the storm. Then have them see how still they can hold them when you tell how Jesus said, "Peace, be still."

Make a large posterboard sun, another showing rain, another showing wind. Briefly review the lesson, establishing that God proved His control over the elements. Then play a tape recorded weather forecast, or show one clipped from the paper. Can the forecaster change the weather? No, only God can. Use your posters to talk about how God controls weather.


  • The Little Boat That Almost Sank — Arch Book, Concordia
  • Miracles of Jesus — Pict-o-graph, Standard Publishing
  • A Storm Obeys — Family Life Institute Tape No. 48
  • Why Seas Grew Calm — By Marie Hibna Frost, A Magic Picture Book, David C. Cook
  • Living for Jesus —  Bible Stories for Children by Doris Clore Demaree, Warner Press