Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mark 4:35-41 Jesus Calms the Sea

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

After Jesus had taught the multitudes from Capernaum, and the surrounding regions, many things in parables pertaining to the Kingdom of God, while He was sitting in a boat off the shores of the Sea of Galilee. When evening arrived, He and His disciples set out according to the Lord’s Words “Let us cross over to the other side.” Vs. 35
And so when they multitudes departed, the disciples with Jesus in the boat with them, set out for the other side. The disciple’s itinerary was likely to make haste across the Sea of Galilee before the sun fully set. Given the unpredictability of the Sea of Galilee, as cool dry air is often drawn down from the hills which surround it, into the hot tropical like shoreline making for sudden high winds which can suddenly and without warning whip up the Sea of Galilee’s relatively shallow waters, making late evening crossings particularly unnerving.

Now as Jesus and the disciples departed from there several small boats also went with them. And it was while they were crossing that a great windstorm suddenly arose, and the waves were beating violently into the boats, so that they were already filling, threatening to sink them. Now as these terrifying events unfolded the Scripture says that the Lord Jesus was sound asleep in the stern of the boat on a pillow. So it was then, as they realized this sudden storm quell was threatening to sink them, “…they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” vs. 38

Now a couple things to take note of, first Jesus was in the boat with them. They were not going through this alone. Yet Jesus’ demeanor was not like the disciples. Jesus was not panicking; Jesus was sleeping, as sound as baby in its mother’s arms, as the sea was being tossed by the winds. The disciples though were fixated on the Sea’s conditions, and their circumstances within it, not on the Lord who was also going through this storm with them. Therefore their circumstances were dictating the level of peace and security they were experiencing in their lives during that time. Now while they were panicking, and Jesus was sleeping soundly in the stern of the vessel, do you think Jesus was unaware of the storm? Do you think Jesus is unaware of the storm surges that suddenly swell up in our lives? Do you not realize He is aware of all these things? How then do we respond to those difficult things God allows in our lives? Do we remain calm and secure in the knowledge that if God is for us who can be against us? Or do we like the disciples quickly forget who’s in our vessel with us as we sail through life’s stormy seas? Now it will be as the disciples cry out to Jesus, that He arises, rebukes the wind, and says to the sea: “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm (vs. 39). And with that Jesus looks to His disciples and says: …“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Vs. 40-41

Are you looking to Jesus to calm the storm inside you or are you looking to trying to calm the storm yourself? Maybe by allowing these things Jesus wants us to learn to lean on Him more and ourselves and our “survival” tactics less? For many of life’s circumstances which make us anxious or fearful or upset etc. we simply cannot change; therefore rather than be discouraged or defeated by them we should look to God as our shelter when we are faced with those things. It doesn’t come easily, especially when you’re in the midst of it; but it does come as we learn to trust the Lord Jesus and lean on Him as our Eternal Refuge and Hope, and ourselves and our abilites to "control"  our circumstances less (Deut. 33:27; 2 Sam. 22:3-4; Ps. 9:9-10; 14:6; 28:7-9; 46:1; 57:1; 59:16-17; 62:7-8; 91; 141:8-10; 142:4-6).

Therefore if you have come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ then Jesus’ promise to us is not that we will not have tribulations and trials in this life, but He will be our peace and Security continually through them. For salvation is not just a single act of God to redeem us from sin and death it is an ongoing committed to our eternal well being. Therefore all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have His Promise of peace as He said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Now Jesus Christ’s peace comes to all who lay hold of it by faith in His Person. Trusting His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead for their sins forgiveness. For it is only by the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross and our faith in Him that we have peace with God, as well as experience the peace of God in our lives. Therefore all of God’s promises in the Holy Scriptures are for everyone who lays hold of His Son’s promises for them.

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. 17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Heb. 6:13-19

Scripture Quotations:
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

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