Friday, January 6, 2017

Jesus Calms the Sea

Mark 4:35-41

“And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.  And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.” (Mark 4:35-36)

Mark was not one of Jesus’ disciples, and wrote about twenty five years after the crucifixion, based on the stories he had heard those who were present tell.   While he got the stories accurate, he did not get them in chronological order.  Matthew places the following stories much earlier in Jesus’ ministry,  in Matthew 8:23-34.

After teaching, Jesus sent the multitudes home to rest and he and the disciples set out across the Sea of Galilee toward the village of Gergesa, on the eastern side of the Sea.   Jesus was exhausted, and the motion of the boat quickly put him to sleep. 

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish” (Mark 4:37-38)

A few hours after they left, a squall blew up.  The waves were big enough they were coming over the sides of the boat, filling it and threatening to sink it.  Jesus was sleeping soundly in rear of the boar, and unaware of what was happening.  The disciples woke him, asking if he wasn’t concerned about the danger. 

“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:39-40)

Jesus simply got up and told the wind to stop and the waves to settle down and be at peace.  When he did, both the wind and the waves stopped, as if there had never been any wind for days.  The sea was dead flat.  Jesus asked why the disciples were afraid.   Why didn’t they believe God’s power?  

Though they had seen him do a number of miracles, they still didn’t understand how complete his power is.  He is the God of the universe, not just the God of an individual disease.  So often we realize God can take care of one problem and forget everything is under his control, not just the little things we have seen him do before.  Why do we, like the disciples think he would let us die over some earthly event, after everything he has invested in us?   As Romans 8:32 asks, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”    For God to let us be destroyed or lose our salvation would be kind of like buying a new car, then refusing to put oil in the engine when it needed some, and allowing the engine to be ruined.  It would be a waste of what had already been invested. 

“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him” (Mark 4:41)

The disciples began to realize Jesus was more than just a man with special powers if he could control even the waves and the sea in such a fashion.    Even the greatest prophets of the past had not been able to do such things.  It gave them another reason for believing he is in fact God come in the flesh, since he could do things only God can do.   

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