“There were also other boats with him”.
Mk 4:36 NIV
There is a saying that often crops up in conversation. It states, “Seeing is believing”. However, when a crime has been committed, a suspect will deny having done it. Then the prosecution tries to find people who did see it and the case frequently hangs on their testimony.
This detail in the story of the stilling of the storm is curious. The other boats serve no purpose in Mark’s account of the miracle. We are not told who was in them, why they were there, nor what the reaction was on the part of their occupants to the danger that arose. It seems highly likely that this is an irrelevant detail slipped in by someone who was there and noticed the boats. It means that, whilst Mark who wrote the story was not a disciple and therefore not present and so was dependent on the evidence of others, here was an “eye-witness” detail that authenticates the whole incident. It also supports the claim that Mark was in all probability writing up Peter’s version of what happened.
This is important for your faith. It means that what you read in the four gospels can be trusted as events that have come down from the people who witnessed the ministry of Jesus. They are not fairy stories cooked up by some later fanatics to mislead people. Whilst some years may have elapsed between the events recorded in the gospels happening and the accounts of them being written down, we can have a high degree of confidence in their reliability. Which means Jesus really did still the storm, heal the sick, and rise from the dead. And that he is alive for evermore.
Lord, I am reassured to know I can accept the record of the Bible.