Summary: The second in a five part series on healing: focusing on spiritual deliverance, physical healing, and relational restoration. This message specifically addresses how fear can be a road block to healing and freedom in our lives.
(As with many of my sermons. . .a great deal of the inspiration for this message came from the writings of Max Lucado on this passage.)
Introduction - This message was launched with a video from Sermon Spice which addresses fear. It is a dynamic clip that runs just a couple minutes, and highlights the 144 commands in the Bible to "fear not."
Transcript - 144 times in God’s Word we are commanded to fear not. Might lead you to believe that God was aware of the fact that we, humans, have a problem with fear.
During the January 17, 1994, Northridge/Los Angeles earthquake, over one hundred Californians literally died of fright. This was the conclusion of Robert Kloner, cardiologist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. Apparently a terrorized brain can trigger the release of a mix of chemicals so potent it can cause the heart to contract - and never relax again.
Fear of the results of an earthquake is understandable. But surviving the earthquake, only to die from the fear of it. . .that’s another story. And at the same time there are lots of less traumatic things that produce even greater levels of fear than earthquakes. In fact, fear of dying has been ranked lower on some surveys than the fear of public speaking! We are a fearful bunch.
Jesus got to witness it first hand. He and the disciples are in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. A storm arises suddenly, and what was placid becomes violent. Monstrous waves rise out of the sea and slap the boat. Mark describes these events clearly in chapter 4, beginning in verse 35. Mark 4:35 (read through verse 37).
The NIV says, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.” It’s very important that you get an accurate picture, so I’m going to ask you to imagine yourself in the boat. It’s a sturdy vessel but no match for these ten-foot waves. The boat plunges nose first into the wall of water. The force of the waves dangerously tipping the boat until the bow seems to be pointing straight at the sky. And just when you fear flipping over backward, the vessel pitches forward into the valley of another wave. A dozen sets of hands join yours in clutching the mast. All your shipmates have wet heads and wide eyes. You tune your ear for a calming voice, but all you hear are screams and a few prayers.
Then, all of a sudden it hits you. Someone is missing. Where is Jesus? He’s not at the mast. He’s not grabbing the edge. Where is He? You turn and look, and there curled in the stern of the boat, is Jesus, sleeping!
How can He sleep at a time like this? Or as the disciples asked, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” How could He sleep through the storm? Simple, He was in charge of it.
So it says, “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:39–40 NIV)
Incredible. He doesn’t chant a mantra or wave a wand. No angels are called; no help is needed. The raging water becomes a stilled sea, instantly. Immediate calm. Not a ripple. Not a drop. Not a gust. In a moment the sea goes from a churning torrent to a peaceful pond.
Now, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with healing? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be preaching on? Hope for Healing. Well, I want you to see something with me today, which will not only make the tie to a series on healing, but will also help you truly understand the magnitude of this storm even deeper. To see both of these things, you need to understand who this storm was from.
You may ask, “Who this storm was from? What do you mean ‘from’ pastor? Storms just happen.” Or maybe God causes all that weather, but what does that have to do with anything?
Did you see what Jesus did? He “rebuked” the wind and the waves. Rebuked. What does Jesus rebuke? Throughout the gospel, when Jesus finds Himself in a position of rebuking, what is He rebuking? Is it acts of God? I think not. How in the world can God rebuke God? How about just normal courses of nature? I don’t think so.
Throughout the gospel, when Jesus finds himself in a position of rebuking, He is rebuking the enemy. Satan. Or at the very least, as is possible in this case, an attack from the enemy.