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It is interesting that this is the second time in the Gospel of Mark that Jesus has rebuked something and said, “Be still.” The first time was in the first chapter where Mark says, “Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!’ ‘Be quiet!’ said Jesus sternly. Come out of him!’” (Mark 1:23-25). And the people respond in a similar way to the disciples. They say, “What is this? . . . He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him” (Mark 1:26-27). Throughout Mark’s gospel the disciples, as well as others, keep coming to new understandings of who Jesus is, and it is always in the context of some crisis.
This is true for us as well. We keep meeting Jesus in new ways as we meet him in new crises. We don’t really understand who he is or the power he has until we see him in action. This is what Peter meant when he said, “Though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
It was terrible to be blind, but the blind man could not see who Jesus was until he was healed. The deaf man could not hear Jesus until his ears were opened. The affliction of the lame man brought Jesus to his side and he was able to leap and dance so that he loved the Master and wanted to follow him. Sin had ruined Mary until Jesus delivered her and she was able to understand who he was. Doubting Thomas was devastated by the events that led to the death of Jesus. Everything seemed futile and depressing after that. But Thomas experienced Jesus in a whole new way when he saw him after the resurrection and placed his finger in Jesus’ hands and side. He fell down crying, “My Lord and my God!” It is in those crisis moments that we really understand who Jesus is. If you place your complete faith and trust in Jesus, you will have a greater understanding of him, a deeper relationship with him, and a new love for him when the storm is over. You will see his power over darkness and the depth of his love for you. Jesus is telling us to live by faith, not by fear.
In his book The Unnecessary Pastor, Eugene Peterson writes: “My two sons are both rock climbers, and I have listened to them plan their ascents [up a mountain]. They spend as much or more time planning their climbs as in the actual climbing. They meticulously plot their route and then, as they climb, put in what they call ‘protection’— pitons hammered into small crevices
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