Mark 4 v35-.
IT MATTERS WHOM YOU'RE IN THE BOAT WITH.
By Gary Wearne
illustration. A few years back I went fishing with a good friend Larry and his 9 year old daughter in his runabout on Jervis bay.
Started off a really pleasant and calm day and after 35 minutes had a good spot on the bay and were enjoying the fishing. After a couple of hours, a warm breeze from the West sprang up and as it was unusual I suggested to Larry maybe we better head in. Well in the time it took to pull up our lines and get started the breeze had turned cold and was quite forceful, causing very choppy conditions.
Heading back to shore took twice as long as it did to get out and I began to be concerned that if the engine conked out we'd be swept out through the heads into the pacific ocean! That's how difficult our headway was into the wind and the waves. I began to be worried for larry's daughter if we should capsize or be driven out through the heads.
At times on that trip in I was a bit fearful and no one else on board spoke a word!
In our passage this morning we get a similar report from Mark in chapter 4 of his gospel. So what's going on here?
Most of you know the story reasonably well.
How it had been a long day for Jesus,
he's been teaching and the kingdom, he'd been revealing to his disciples the mysteries of the Kingdom ... expand on this...
and now he's going to teach them more about himself.
That's the context,
Now ask yourself - What does it mean when Jesus says something?
What do you think it means
Is it merely a hope,
a desire he has ?
Is it along the lines of comments we make such as "I'd like to be over there in .."
Well Mark 4:35-41 addresses really well Who Jesus is! It challenged the disciples and it will challenge us to rethink, or think once more about Who Jesus is.
His will matches His intent.
What He says goes!
What He says will happen!
So in verse 35 Jesus tells his disciples
Not "let's just head out of here"
But "let us go over to the other side"
Let us ! take great notice of that - "let us" - he says we are going over to the other side. He didn't say, I've some good news and some bad news, good news, we're taking a boat trip over to the other side of the lake, bad news, some of you aren't going to make it!
And as they were going across the lake, Jesus fell asleep, exhausted after the long day of ministry.
And a great storm suddenly arose.
And such a bad storm that they fear they will perish,
they fear for their lives,
these hardened fishermen!
they know a bad storm when they see one, and they are afraid. verse 38.
But Jesus had said "let us .." go to the other side.
Not "well some of us will get there.."
When we begin to get a grasp on what's going on here we better understand their statement in verse 41 "Who can this be?"
After all that they have seen Jesus do, still they weren't in tune with Who He was!
Their concept of the Messiah was still mixed up notions of current Jewish expectations of the Jews in Bondage to a Gentile power.
Notice how the storm stopped immediately at His command, even the water became calm, here indeed was a true miracle.
It wasn't as though Jesus saw over the squall that there was a blue patch of sky coming,
or that he could sense the change in temperature of the wind or whatever,
When a storm dies down as it can,
the swell does not immediately stop. Yet at Jesus' command it did.
Jesus has control over nature itself.
Now this should, as it did speak heaps to the disciples, they knew that only God has control over the winds and the waves. They would have known Psalm 89:8-9 ... turn with me to that psalm. READ it.
See how it talks of O Lord God of Hosts. .. Who is like thee? Who indeed.
Given that Psalm, the disciples have a dilemma about Who Jesus is don't they? No one else is like God,
Yet here is one, they are willing to call the Messiah who does what God alone can do!
How does all this apply to us?
The disciples asked the question, the right question. Who is this man?
Their knowledge of Him grew.
All things we are told have their Amen in Him - He upholds all things. Col 1:16.
So what of the trials of your life?
Cancer? Alchzeimers disease, or illness of a loved spouse? things way outside of our control! outside of our expertise.
Maybe like some of the disciples who were fishermen, they knew trouble when they saw it? The problem is they hadn't really come to grips with Who Jesus was and What His Word counts for!
Do you run after man made solutions so that time wise the seeking of solutions controls your life? It consumes your life?
Honor God in your Trial!
Don't be fearful. verse 40.
Sure it's good to have a right perspective but not to have overwhelming fear.
illustration: It's a bit like getting up on the roof of your house. It's smart to have enough "fear" to be cautious if your know what I mean - you don't get up there and do a song and dance, you are careful. But it's not to be so controlled by fear that you get up there and can't move so bad you have to be rescued by the fire Brigade. That's overwhelming fear.
Second - what is faith?
Jesus asked His disciples, verse 40. Have you no faith. Here he contrasts faith and fear. In verse 40 the word for fear is deiloi ... means ...cowardice, timidity, fearfulness. It is a word which is always used in a negative sense. This is fear that should not be. And in contrast to this type of fear, Jesus speaks of faith.
What is faith? It's trusting relying upon someone or something. It's a verb it always has an object. Some mistakenly talk of faith in the sense that it doesn't have an object and when they do that they mistakenly think in terms of not having enough faith for so and so, to do such and such. to get better as some charismatics say...
Who are you trusting in?
or the Creator of all things - Jesus
And it's when we understand Who Jesus is that a proper fear arises - the word for fear used in vs41 is phobon. and can have the positive sense of reverence. look at how it's used in Acts 9:31 and Romans 3:18.
Fear / reverence for the eternal one, not being consumed by some temporal trial.
Do you think that the storm and the very true reality in their minds of the possibility of death caused them fear? Well in verse 41 we are told that they feared exceedingly. "They feared a great fear".
They were growing in their apprehension and comprehension of Jesus the Christ.
They had much to learn, as no doubt each of us has much to learn about our Lord.
Not thinking here of academic knowledge, but of knowledge that's personal, intimate. and joyous!
Lastly, God cares !
Do you need to be told that? Do you need to be reminded?
Matt 6.... illustration
He wants them to trust Him. He wants you to Trust Him.