Summary: What really allowed Jesus to sleep through such a storm was His trust in His Father. He knew He was safe, because He was in His Father’s hands. We can survive any storm that comes our way when we learn to live as people of faith.
Faith in the Midst of the Storm
Mark 4:35-41 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
Intro: The Sea of Galilee, where Jesus and His disciples faced this storm, is an interesting place. It is more like a large lake (13 mi. long x 6 mi. wide). It is situated 700 ft. below sea level and is surrounded by a high wall of hills. This high wall of hills around it can result in sudden violent storms which turn the calm little lake into a raging sea of wind and waves. One of these storms hit the disciples and Jesus as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee.
-Jesus had just finished a long hard day of teaching and helping people. He was probably extremely exhausted. By piecing together the accounts from Matt, Mark, & Luke, we can get a picture of what kind of day this had been for Jesus. Mt. 12 tells us the Jesus healed a demon-possessed man who was blind & dumb (he couldn’t talk). After Jesus got through with him, he could talk! What a miracle! However, the Pharisees were not too pleased with this, because the people were starting to talk about Him being the Messiah, the King that Israel had been waiting for. Some of them resorted to slander and said that Jesus was casting out demons by Satan’s power. After dealing with what appears to be a lengthy confrontation with the Pharisees, Jesus went down by the lake to teach (maybe we should have church at the lake one of these days). He tells at least 8 parables and teaches the people all they can take for one day. At last, He is exhausted and tells the disciples, “Let’s go to the other side of the lake.”
-Now, Peter, Andrew, James, John are manning the sail or the oars or whatever was appropriate, while Jesus was getting some much needed sleep in the stern of the boat. The fact that Jesus could sleep through the rain and wind tells us He must have been very tired. However, I believe that what really allowed Jesus to sleep through such a storm was His trust in His Father. He knew He was safe, because He was in His Father’s hands. That leads us to the main idea of the sermon today.
Prop: We can survive any storm that comes our way when we learn to live as people of faith.
Interrogative: How can we live as the people of faith God wants us to be?
TS: We will discuss several marks of a person who learns to trust in the Lord.
I. People of Faith Follow the Lord’s Instructions (35-36) “Let us go over to the other side.”
-Obedience is the most natural expression of faith. Being in agreement with the Lord and following through with the direction He gives us is faith in action.
-The disciples were willingly following Jesus and were more than willing to go along with whatever He said. Each of them had been touched by Jesus in some unique way to such an extent that they would follow Him anywhere and do whatever He asked of them. That seems like a pretty noble commitment, but what strikes me is the impact Jesus must have had on each of them that would make them want to drop everything else and follow Him. For Peter, Andrew, James, and John to leave their nets to follow Him is the same as someone quitting their career to do what Jesus wants them to do. Would you be willing to do that? I don’t know if they had other income to fall back on, but I am fairly certain that they continued providing for their families in some way, or Jesus would have had something to say about it. At least Peter was married, because it mentions his mother-in-law. He may well have had children, and could have been shooing them away when Jesus said, “Let them come.” Regardless, this group of 12 men (fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot, and others) left their jobs and joined themselves to Jesus at His request.