Mark 4:35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Over and over again in this chapter we have been reminded that it is God who divinely intercedes in life — whether producing a harvest of people coming to him — a spiritual harvest in our own lives — or overcoming the stormy seas of this world. From start to finish this gospel writer wants us to know without a doubt that God will take care of his children.
Just as the farmer couldn’t see anything happening with the seed, so the disciples couldn’t see Jesus doing anything about the storm. The wind was blowing and the waves were beating into the boat. Water was filling the ship and Jesus was fast asleep. The disciples jumped to the conclusion that they were perishing and that Jesus didn’t care. Had they not been listening his parables? Nothing that was accomplished was done by human power but by divine intervention. Why could they not believe that Jesus could and would divinely intervene in this moment.
This was about their faith and he challenged them directly at that point. The wind and the waves were powerless before Christ. One more time — he spoke and everything became “dead calm.” There had never been anything to fear but only Christ to trust.
Listening to the news these days is not for the faint of heart. We hear news of a weakened economy, nations warring against one another, refugees fleeing for their lives, people recklessly shooting guns, churches suffering from a decline in worship attendance, people becoming biblically illiterate and society embracing all things secular. Depressed yet? Sound like we’re in the middle of a storm?
And do you sometimes feel like asking, “Jesus, don’t you know what’s going on down here — and don’t you care that all of this is going to kill us?”
It’s in that moment that he looks at us, probably sighs, and wonders whether he needs to tell us one more time that he’s got this covered. We have our eyes on the storm and not on the Savior. We assume that he’s doing nothing to help — that he’s just sleeping or not paying attention, but Jesus really is still active and in charge.
“Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
The winds will blow and the boat may even be swamped but we are to continue trusting in him. One more time, just to make sure we get it — God will multiply the harvest; God will grow the seed; God will calm the storm.
Lord, thanks for this reminder again — to trust in you. Amen.
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