2.23.2018

Peace! Be Still!



“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 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?’ 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. 
He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ 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?’” Mark 4:35-41
“They were not in this predicament because they had been bad. They were not in this predicament because they had made foolish choices…It was a result of their obedience that they found themselves in the eye of the storm. It was obedience to the word of Jesus that found them in the place that buffeted them and challenged them. And God is a God who for his own purposes leads his people into storms, leads his people into difficulty, leads his people into experiences that makes them wonder whether they have any faith at all.
Notice what they ask. This is the worst of all questions: ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?
We know this kind of question. In the midst of the extremities of life, when the waves break over the bow of our vessel, when we feel ourselves in danger of being swamped, we’re not always immediately going for verses from the psalms simply to remind ourselves of truths we’ve learned long since. We may find ourselves, like the disciples, inquiring, ‘don’t you care if we drown?’
The storm, which was the immediacy of their circumstances, so filled their minds that it came between them and the assurance of Jesus’ care for them. The storm…the chilling reality of it, the undeniable challenge of it…came between them and their assurance of Jesus’ care. And it caused them to lose sight or lose sound of Jesus’ word, because Jesus’ word had been straightforward in verse 35: ‘Let us go over to the other side.’
Jesus stilled the natural storm on the lake and he caused a spiritual storm in the hearts and minds of the disciples. He calmed the sea and he stirred them up, because they find themselves saying, ‘who is this that even the winds and waves obey him?’
In every storm and in every trial of our lives, there is an opportunity for us to wonder again with the disciples concerning the identity and authority and majesty of Jesus.
The early readers of Mark’s gospel, buffeted by the oppression of Rome…they didn’t need a Sunday school lesson that said, ‘Jesus fixed that and he’ll fix you, too.’ They needed the lesson you and I need: He is majestic, He is king, He is ruler of all nature, and whether by His intervention our cancer is cured or whether it takes us prematurely, from our perspective, whether the breakup in relationships is resolved in the way in which we would desire —the very storm itself is an opportunity for us to make this discovery: Jesus Christ is Lord of All, the ruler of all nature, and the majestic king."
Alistair Begg, “Jesus Calms the Storm”