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 4:34-41 ESV
Let’s first look at some observation questions:
Who? Jesus and His disciples (number and identity not revealed in this passage)
When? After a long day of teaching and preaching to the crowd
Where? In a boat, crossing a lake
What? A storm overtakes the boat while Jesus is sleeping. The disciples awaken Him,
because of their fear, doubt, and unbelief, and He calms the storm.
How? By speaking three words: “Peace! Be still!”
And, what conclusions can we draw about this passage?
One is this: The disciples, Jesus’s most intimate companions, were AFRAID when they saw evidence of HIs power and authority. They ate with Him, travelled with Him, lodged with Him, were taught the meaning of the parables by Him. They knew Him better than anyone else on earth (except for perhaps His mother). And when they saw THIS evidence of His divine power and authority, they FEARED. The Strong’s concordance describes the word for “fear” used in this passage as: “to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere...alarm or fright: - be afraid, exceedingly fear, terror.”
Exceedingly fear. Terror. Be alarmed. Revere. If, after a small display of His power, this is the response of those who knew Him most intimately in human form, then it’s only being honest to admit that today, if we were to witness firsthand the divine power of the Almighty God of the universe who simply spoke the world into being, fear would also be OUR first response.
Balance this with the fact that He loves me so much He knows the number of hairs on my head (Luke 12:7). He takes care of my day-to-day (and minute-by-minute) needs. He desires an intimate relationship with me so much that He came to earth to die for me, so our relationship could be reconciled. Even though He did NOTHING to break the relationship.
Amazing. Astounding. Astonishing.
What conclusions have you drawn?