The Gospel of Mark | Raging Storms | Mark 4.35-38 |

by | Dec 4, 2023

“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4.35-38

If I have read this passage once, I have read it one hundred times and it never gets old. It never gets dull. Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat is always both hilarious and mind boggling. And the lack of faith by the disciples strikes me to the heart every time.

The fact that Jesus instigated this little adventure is also intriguing. Does anyone not think it odd that Jesus would willingly take his disciples through such a test? He is the one who says in v.35, “Let us go over to the other side.” It was his idea. Are you telling me he didn’t know a storm would rise up? He who controlled the wind and the waves truly must have known a storm was soon to rage?

And here’s a thought — what if the storm was reflective of a storm within Jesus’ own heart? What if while he was sleeping, he was wrestling with God about his mission? Like in Gethsemane when Jesus said, “If there is anyway, take this cup from me!” I don’t actually believe that Jesus was having a nightmare, and that this spilled over into some bizarre storm on the sea — it’s not like Jesus is a wizard! But it is an interesting concept.

The storm on the sea tested the faith of the fragile disciples who in the end did the right thing — first, they panicked. Second, they went to Jesus. Lesson one — always go to Jesus first! In the midst of chaos in your life, do you go to the one who is panicking with you or do you find the one who is calm and in control?

Jesus is God in the flesh. He who was sleeping in the back of the boat might have been in a dream with his Father and wrestling with his call or fighting the devil — but he was probably just resting. The storm that came up was stilled the moment Jesus recognized the danger and his compassion calmed both the seas and the souls of his disciples.

We face storms in our own experiences. Do we turn first to Jesus? Do we call upon his name? Do we find peace and solace in the Savior?

Now is the time to turn to Jesus. Regardless of your battles, Christ is the one who overcomes. He loves you and has a great plan and purpose for your life. Call upon Him. Lean into Him. Find strength from the one who calm both the storms and your heart as well.

“Lord God, I have three days to go serving in Zimbabwe. A country where the storms are raging! Huge unemployment, a broken infrastructure, starving children — and who is doing a thing about it? Your church is present, those with whom I am serving are making an impact, but the task is daunting. Only you can calm this sea of poverty, hopelessness and struggle. Come now, Holy Spirit, fall upon this country — save your people and redeem this land. I love you Lord and thank you for the lessons from Scripture that apply to our situations today. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen