Relationships, health, career, parenting…life can be FULL of fears. When we least expect it, confidence can get mushy as the clouds gather. So it was with the disciples in Mark 4. Remember the story…
35On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38But 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?” 39Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” 41And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” – Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)
Jesus asked two important questions:
- “Why are you so fearful?”
- “How is it that you have no faith?”
Of course, the massive storm beating down comes to mind as having a little something to do with the fear, but Jesus was looking deeper. He was using an incredible teaching moment to grow their faith. Observe the focuses revealed in their question.
I. “We are perishing” (v.38)
We jump to conclusions. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe somebody with a lot of letters behind their name, round glasses and a German accent could tell us, but the truth is…we do. Our focus becomes fixed on the end, and usually the worst case scenario. They were confident of doom, and having Jesus in the boat obviously didn’t change that.
Jesus asked, “Why are you so fearful?” There are two thoughts I know would tempt me:
- The size of the storm (the problem is inescapable)
- Uniqueness of the storm (no one else has ever faced this)
Unfortunately, with my focus on the conclusions, I can’t see the calm Jesus…relaxed and sleeping. Maybe a look over in His direction would give me the confidence I need and encourage my spirit. Next is the second focus we observe.
II. “Do you not care?” (v.38)
Why do we perceive God that way? When life presses in, it can seem as if God doesn’t care. Maybe at some point you’ve thought one of these (you fill in the blank):
- “He cares more for ___________ than me”
- “My circumstances aren’t as important to Him as ___________”
- “I know He’s able, but _____________”
The disciples knew exactly where Jesus was, and that He’d initiated the journey “Let us cross over to the other side.” (v.35), but their focus was on what He was not doing, not His calm confidence.
“Peace, be still!” what great words to hear in the midst of a storm. He still speaks, and still cares. 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 says:
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” – NKJV
Take special note of those words in the middle of the quote, “God is faithful”. I don’t know what you may be going through today, but God does. Focus on Him. The storm may be big, dark, and loud, but when He speaks…it changes everything!
Series – “The Questions of Jesus” – Lesson IV