Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday, September 17th Mark 4:35-41

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 35-36; Proverbs 15; 1 Thessalonians 4
Today's scripture focus is Mark 4:35-41

Mark 4:35-41English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Calms a Storm

35 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?”
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Calming the Storm
Accompanying Robert Rayburn sermon: Christ Stilling the Storm
Accompanying David Legge sermon: In the Same Boat

What an amazing moment this must have been!

The Sea of Galilee was capable of some wicked storms. And these seasoned fishermen (and likely other boats filled with genuine and shallow followers) knew that they were in serious trouble, and that in likelihood, they wouldn't be making it to the other side.

But they knew enough to go to the right source, didn't they?  Who knows exactly what their expectations were, but they reached out for help to the only One who could possibly save them.  And He did - in spectacular fashion! (The fact that Jesus slept through this storm is testament to His humanity and state of absolute exhaustion He must have been in at this point).

This was not a coincidence, that when He spoke the storm ceased.  Even if you could argue that it was circumstantial, that would not explain how the waves could immediately be stopped.  Even once a storm stops, it takes a while for the waves to become calm.

Unless the Creator tells them to stop.   Then they listen.  Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, had the ability to control creation.  Can you even imagine what that must have been like?

No doubt they were filled with fear!  Can you even imagine being in the same boat with the One who is powerful enough to do that!  Thankfully, His power is balanced with love and compassion or we'd all be sunk.

A few different applications we can make from this passage.

Sometimes God's glory is revealed most brightly amidst the storms of life. There was no mistaking where the power came from, or to whom the glory should go.  The storm was an opportunity for Jesus to thrill the disciples with His power and glory.  Could not our storms do the same?

Another application - does it sometimes feel like God is sleeping through the storms in your life?  He's not oblivious to it.  He knows.  But often times those storms are tests.  It was a test for the disciples and they didn't so so great.  Yes, they cried out to Jesus - but they did so in fear.  They didn't believe His promise.  Did you miss the promise?  I did too until Legge pointed it out.  Jesus said "Let us go across to the other side".  He didn't say, well let's try but you never know, a storm might come up and drown us all.  He promised them safe passage.  And when the storm arose, they doubted Him.  We aren't just supposed to learn about faith with our minds - we're supposed to live it out.

Do you notice that virtually every time the Bible says "Do not fear" it adds this "because I am with you".  Because He is with us, we don't need to be afraid, no matter the storm.   Will He always deliver us from the storm?  No.  But He will never leave us.

He's in the same boat as us, and that is enough.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Mark 5:1-20
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 37-38, Proverbs 16, 1 Thessalonians 5

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