Summary: We have been the same boat as the disciples. We have the same fears and doubts and ask the same question, "Who is this man Jesus."
The Holy Gospel comes to us this morning from Mark the 4th chapter, beginning at the 35th verse.
On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith? And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”
Here ends the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ!
I chose Mark four, because this short story along with Psalm 1 and Matthew 6:25 have done more to change my life in the past seven years than anyone, and I mean anyone, even myself, could come close to imagining. The story of Jesus calming the storm appears in Mark, Matthew, and Luke. But the version we have today is my most favorite of all.
You see, Mark to me is truly a happening gospel. Mark moves at such a fast and furious pace that it is very difficult for one to dwell on what has happened in the past, and impossible to see what’s going to happen next. Therefore, I call Mark a gospel of what’s happening.
So this morning I would like to try and bring this wonderful story back to life. I would like for us to take a ride with the disciples on that boat and go across to the other side and experience the story in Mark’s happening mode.
To begin with we need to realize that the disciples hadn’t been with Jesus that long. A week or so at the most, maybe only a few days. They probably had no idea at all what had been happening in the past couple of days and they sure as the dickens had no clue where they were going next. But one thing was for certain, whoever this man Jesus was, they were going to take him in their boat, to the other side, just as he was, whoever he was.
We also need to remember that these followers had witnessed some really strange happenings over the last few days. Jesus had been healing all kinds of people, people with skin diseases, mental problems, and paralytics.
Oh! And the way, the way this man spoke was even more weird. Just about everything that Jesus said was in some kind of short story. A short story that tease the mind and make them think about their lives. Who is this person? But like I just said, whoever he is, these disciples were going to take him with them wherever they go, just as he was.
And it’s a good thing, because before they know it, these disciples, who most of them fish for a living, find themselves smack dap right in the middle of a great storm. One that came up out of nowhere, with maybe 15 foot waves pouring into the boat, taking on water.
They never did have a chance to figure out what exactly had been happening in their lives, and now more than ever, they have no clue to what their future might hold.
They do know however, what’s happening now. They are stuck in the middle of the worst storm of their lives and they are scared, no, more than scared, they are petrified that they are going to sink and die.
Then by some chance they remembered, “Hey we’ve got Jesus on board with us. Maybe he can do something for us.” But when they went to find him, guess what? Jesus is sound asleep. How can Jesus be asleep? They are in the midst of the wickedest turmoil of their life, and this man Jesus, the one who heals the sick and speaks all those strange words of wisdom doesn’t seem to give a hoot!
Jesus, Wake Up! Please! We need you!
Well, Jesus does wake up. He says a few words. “Peace! Be Still!” The winds cease and the sea is calm. Totally amazing!
Then I love this part, Jesus looks over at the disciples and ask, “Why are you afraid?” I would have paid money to have seen the look in the disciples eyes when they stared back at Jesus with a puzzled and dumbfounded look on their faces and maybe replied, “What do you mean, why are we afraid? Our life is in turmoil and sinking right before our eyes and you ask why are we afraid?”