Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Storm Calmer Mark 4:35-41

In the middle of a crisis fears, limitations, and character all become clear.  After all it was in the middle of a storm when Jesus' closest disciples, filled with fear, had a profound experience of His raw divine power.

Setting the scene: Jesus spoke to a crowd down by the lakeshore in Mark 4:1-34.  He told the crowds beautiful parables about the kingdom of God.  Marks gospel ads a key detail to the story--Jesus explained with the parables meant directly to his closest disciples but leaving mystery behind for the crowd as their pondered his teaching. Mark 4:33-34. 

Jesus' friends feared the storm:
Jesus, leader and teacher, turned to his closest followers and asked to cross the lake and go toward the other side Mark 4:35.  Others came along in boats too.  Mark doesn't leave any details about them coming along with for the whole journey or just a little way out from the shore Mark 4:36. 

The lake probably seemed calm or at least calm enough to cross as they set out with Jesus towards the other side.  And Jesus slept comfortable on a cushion in the stern as Mark as a storm blew up over the lake 4:38.  In the midst of the waves these friends feared for their lives Mark 4:37.  They called to Jesus laying asleep in the stern of the boat teacher/instructor don't you care if we are destroyed/apocalypted? διδάσκαλε ου μέλει σοι ότι απολλύμεθα.  The storm was real; it was their apocalypse and in their moment of fear they called for help to their teacher.
Jesus over-powered the storm:
Jesus was and is someone who can change a situation with just a word.  He was asleep, or maybe (Pastor Steve Whitmer argues well) Jesus faked sleep there in the back of the boat as the storm overcame them.  And right as fear overwhelmed his friends confidence in their ability to cross the lake they called to their teacher for help.  And Jesus, God in flesh and blood, overwhelmed the storm. All it took was his word σιώπα, πεφίμωσο silence, muzzle-yourself and the storm was gone.

The storm seemed like the most powerful force in the world at the moment of greatest fear.  But it was clear--Jesus, the one there with them in the middle of the storm, had such power that even wind and wave obeyed him. 
Thanks be to God for working in our lives in times of storm and struggle.  Thanks for overpowering the storms when we doubt and fear.  AMEN.
Pax, John


parumpumpumpum said...

NatNat's favorite Bible story.

Sally Lloyd-Jones' telling of this story in "The Jesus Storybook Bible" has Jesus saying this to his friends after he calmed the storm:

"Why were you scared?" he asked. "Did you forget who I Am? Did you believe your fears, instead of me?"

Peace Dr. H

John, an unlikely pastor said...

Hey Jon,
Glad you and nat are reading
Did you already forget? What a question for Jesus to ask us.
They were just learning his power over things and so soon they were forgetting.
Take care,