Perhaps the most difficult question that skeptics ask is the question of suffering. How can God be all-powerful and all-loving and allow His people to live in tragedy and anguish? The disciples ask “Don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus responds reveals the problem of suffering is ultimately a problem of faith.
4:35On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38But 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?” 39And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41And 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
- Jesus was exhausted after a long day of teaching. His exhaustion points to his humanity and the extent of his empathy with us.
- While its early in Jesus’ ministry, the disciples have a lot of evidence here to testify that Jesus of Nazareth is in fact the Messiah from his baptism to his teaching and miracles.
- The storm is dangerous, but the disciples ought to be able to handle it. Several of them were fisherman who spent their lives on this sea and Jesus is able to sleep through it.
- The disciples panic because they are afraid Jesus no longer loves them or they fear Jesus is not who he claims to be..
- Maturity comes from trusting God when there is no visible evidence of His presence. Storms are the school in which we learn faith. Emotional overreaction to demanding circumstances is one indicator of how much we have left to learn.
- After calming the storm as if it were an over-eager puppy, Jesus responds to their lack of faith.
- To have faith is to be more impressed with Christ than we are with the problems in front of us.
- The conclusion Mark wants us to draw from this account is: Who is this man? This is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, son of the living God, the savior of mankind. Trust him.
- The boat won’t sink and the storm won’t last forever.
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