MARK 4:35-41 – On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
THEME OF THE DAY. LESSONS LEARNED AT SEA. The story unfolding in today’s scripture contains a lot of excitement and instruction. The disciples went to sea and from an excitement perspective, we learn a lot about human behavior in difficult circumstances. From an instruction view point, we gain much by observing the disciples and the Lord Jesus on their short sea adventure. Let’s look at our teachers and see what we may learn.
First, the disciples. They were genuine in their commitment to Jesus. How do we know? They obeyed Him. Our Lord tells them, “Let us go across to the other side.” How did they respond? They got into the boat. It is a simple lesson, but an important lesson. A true disciple of Jesus Christ obeys Him; not perfectly as the disciples will show us, but there will be patterns of obedience to Christ’s commands from everyone knowing Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Make it a point to consistently evaluate the intentionality of our obedience to Jesus for it is a mark of being His child.
Another lesson learned from the disciples is the ease of living by seen circumstances and not by faith in God – And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”. The disciples were terrified by the storm and waves crashing against their boat filling it with water. They were certain their end by drowning was inevitable. But who was in the boat with them? The Creator of the storm and waves. They forgot. And so do we when challenging circumstances come. The lesson is obvious, not easy but obvious – don’t judge God and ourselves by what we see and feel, but by what the Lord says and who He is. Our safety is found in faithfully relying on His Word and Presence, not seen circumstances.
The other teacher on this sea voyage was Jesus and the chief lesson we learn from Him is the power of His Person and Word – And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. The One who spoke all things into being in Genesis is also the One who looked over the rough sea and commanded it to become glass-like. He said it. It happened. As Christians, we are people relying on God’s Person and Word. They are our sources for everything including our peace in times of troubled circumstances. And God expects us to rely upon His Person and Word – always. In fact, Jesus rebuked His disciples for their wavering faith in both – He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Many lessons unfold in the account of the disciples and Jesus going to sea. Strive to learn the two chief ones – from disciples – what not to do when life’s storms come. And from Jesus – trusting the power of His Person and Word to bring peace to our hearts no matter the intensity or duration of the storms in our lives.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for giving all authority to Your Son; an authority I rejoice and rest in.”
QUOTE: “For the Christian, Christ’s authority is music to our hearts, peace in our hearts, and the place of comfort”