Bible Verse: “They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!’” Mark 4:41
Scripture Reading: Mark 4:35-41
Jesus had been doing Jesus things for a while. Preaching incredible messages about the love and expectations of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. Healing the sick. Casting out demons. Forgiving sins. The disciples had seen once-in-a-lifetime events on the regular for enough time that surprises would have been understandably hum-drum.
But Jesus still hadn’t shown them everything.
One evening, after a long and tiring day of teaching—the sower and the seeds, a lamp on a stand, the growing seed, the mustard seed—Jesus wanted to leave the crowds behind. He and the disciples got in a boat and set sail for the other side of the lake.
As can happen on the water, a storm blew in. Unexpected and quick. They were all (there were several other boats with them) caught in the gale. It looked as though the trip to the other side of the lake would end on the rocky bottom instead of the sandy shore. Don’t forget, at least some of the disciples were seasoned fishermen. They knew the water and the weather. Mark gives the impression that they were afraid too.
That’s probably when the real panic set in. When Peter, Andrew, James, and John start looking concerned, it’s a safe bet that Matthew, the former tax collector (likely unfamiliar with boats and the water), would have been nearly delirious with fright.
Focus switch to the back of the vessel: chaos in the boat, chaos in the weather, Jesus grabbing a power nap in the stern. It’s a wonder that He could sleep. It’s no wonder the disciples thought He didn’t care. When someone seems inactive about our problems, or even worse, unaware, it’s easy to assume they don’t care.
Of course, He did care. He got up and did something that astonished even the miracle-accustomed disciples. He scolded the wind and the waves as though they were belligerent children, and they snapped to obedience.
Whatever fear the disciples had of the weather and drowning was replaced by terror of the man in the boat who could command the elements. He had saved them. He had shown His limitless power. It was good news that Jesus was even more than they thought. But it was scary good news. No matter what they thought of Jesus, He was more.
Reflection: Have you ever felt like Jesus wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in your life? Like He didn’t care if you drowned? How did you reach out to Him? Did He respond? Maybe it’s been a while since you were surprised by Jesus. Have you put Jesus in a box by not allowing Him access to any parts of your life? Maybe it’s time to pray for a fresh experience of His presence and power.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You that You are in my boat, even if I sometimes think You are sleeping and don’t care about the storm that threatens to sink my ship. Help me to see You and Your power with trusting eyes. Help me see the ways You may be working that I cannot understand. Thank You for the power that You possess and use in my life and in calling all the world to repentance.
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