Summary: This is the 2nd time in our study of Mark that we find the disciples in the middle of a storm. In reality, there were two storms brewing that night – one on the sea & the other in the disciple’s hearts! This caused the disciples to be “terrified” (vs. 50)
The Gospel of Mark #17 – “Facing Our Fear”
1. What was your greatest fear as a child? Many of the things we feared had no basis in reality. However, some of the things we did not fear – we should have!!
2. ILL – Mrs. Monroe lives in Darlington, Maryland. She’s the mother of 8 children & except for a few interesting experiences, she’s just like any other mother in America. She came home one afternoon from the grocery store & walked into her home. Everything looked pretty much the same, though it was quite a bit quieter than usual. She looked into the middle of the living room & 5 of her darlings were sitting around in a circle, exceedingly quiet, doing something in the middle of the circle. She put down the groceries & walked over closely & saw that they were playing with 5 of the cutest little skunks you could imagine. She was instantly terrified & yelled, “Run children, run!” Each child grabbed a skunk & ran in 5 different directions! She was beside herself & screamed louder. It so scared the children that each one squeezed his skunk – & as we all know, skunks don’t like to be squeezed!
3. We all deal with our own fears in life. Everyone’s is different!
4. Fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.”
5. Someone wrote an acrostic for fear, “F – Faulty E – Expectations & A – Assumptions about R – Reality.”
6. In our text today, the disciples were afraid, In fact, they were “terrified” (vs. 50).
7. Mark 6:45-56 (Read)
8. This is actually the 2nd time in our study of Mark that we find the disciples in the middle of a storm. The first was in Mark 4:35-41. In both accounts the disciples were obeying Jesus command & yet they found themselves unable to cope with the storm.
9. However, there is a big difference between the accounts involving Jesus. In Mark 4, Jesus was with then through the storm. In our text, Jesus sent them into the storm without Him. He let them exhaust their efforts before He came to their rescue.
10. Actually, 2 storms were brewing that night – 1 on the sea & another in the disciple’s hearts!
11. Did you know? The most often repeated command in the Bible is “Do not be afraid!”
12. Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I. What Causes Fear? Vs. 45-50a
While there are many causes of fear, there are 4 causes of fear in our text & the disciples were experiencing all of them!
A. Being in the dark causes fear – vs. 47 “when evening came”
1. How many are afraid of the dark? The darkness can be terrifying.
2. Gen. 15:12 (NLT) “As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him.”
3. It was now dark, so the disciples couldn’t see. The threat and danger and the emotional strain of the storm was probably more intense because of the dark.
4. Being in the dark spiritually is a strong emotional strain in that fear will swarm over a person, covering them with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
5. The danger is strong because they will definitely face some difficult times ahead. Being in darkness, they will be caught unprepared. They’ll be in the dark about God, about how to call on Him & receive strength & help from Him.
6. Certainly unsaved people are in spiritual darkness without the light of Christ. However, sometimes even believers allow the powers of darkness to hold such sway in their lives that they lose sight of the light of Christ.
B. Being alone causes fear – vs. 47b
1. At this point in our passage, Jesus had not yet joined the disciples. So they didn’t have His presence or His help. They were left alone to fend for themselves.
2. They had to rely on each other & their own strength.
3. There was possibility of them dying in this storm. So they had every reason to be afraid. These guys were honest men & they knew deep down inside that their strength was limited & would eventually fail.
4. God did not create us to go at life alone! We need others to combat fear!
5. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “We are born helpless. As soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. We need others physically, emotionally, intellectually, we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.”