Summary: Six ways we can apply this storm to the storms in our lives.
1. Storms come at inconvenient times.
- v. 35 - “when evening had come”
- This comes at the close of a long day of ministry. By the time they get out into the lake and the storm arises, it may have even been dark. In both cases, not the best time for this to happen.
2. Storms sometimes happen right in the middle of God’s will.
- v. 35 - “He said to them, ‘Let us cross. . .’”
- They were right where Jesus told them to be and still they ran into this storm. Some people talk as if being in God’s will means you’ll have no storms in your life, but that’s just not true.
3. Storms even happen to those closest to God.
- v. 36 - “Now when they had left the multitude. . .”
- The big crowd has been dispersed and those traveling with Jesus presumably consist mostly of His disciples. Despite the fact that they were the chosen of Jesus and closest to Him, the storm still came on them.
Six Questions From The Storm:
1. What did Jesus want them to do? “Take their problem to their Father.”
- v. 40 - “But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’”
- There are four options I can see for what the disciples could have done in this situation:
a. In their fears, wake Jesus up and ask for help.
- That’s exactly what they did and they get criticized for it, so that’s not the right option.
b. Without fear, wake Jesus up and ask for help.
- Perhaps the problem wasn’t that they woke Him up, but the fearful spirit with which they woke Him up. The difficulty with that is that the passage specifically says there were “other little boats” (v. 36) with them. This leaves them without recourse, since Jesus wasn’t in the boat with them, so they couldn’t ask for help.
c. Just keep bailing.
- They could have just tried to handle the situation themselves, but this appears to have been a sufficiently powerful storm to have killed them (v. 37 - “the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling”), so it doesn’t seem a good option.
d. Pray to their Father for help.
- Jesus knows He’ll be leaving them within a few years and among His goals is to get them to look to the Father for the answers to their problems. In Mark 11:22, Jesus tells them, “Have faith in God.” I think He wanted them, rather than rushing to Him again, to realize they could go themselves to their Father and have faith that He’ll take care of it. Jesus’ primary rebuke is that they have no faith. Who should they have had faith in? God.
2. How will Jesus respond to our storm? “He rebuked what created the problem and calmed the troubling circumstances.”
- v. 39.
- Notice that there are two separate actions (two distinct verbs) with regard to the wind and the waves. We often lump them in together and presume that it was one action, but it was two.
- First, Jesus “rebuked” the wind. This is a strong word, indicating chastisement. Second, Jesus “said” to the waves.
- The wind was, of course, what was causing the problem, so Jesus rebuked what created the problem. The waves were the result, so to speak - the “effect” to the wind’s “cause.”
- In our situations, often there is the thing that is causing the problem and then, separately, there are the resulting circumstances that are troubling us. For instance, intense worry and anxiety may be our circumstances and the loss of our job may be the cause. Or, smoldering anger may be our circumstances and a broken relationship (because of a verbal fight) may be the cause. It’s important to know that God can help us with our circumstances (in these cases, worry and anger) as well as our original problem (in these cases, financial instability and a relationship in need of redemption).
- It’s important, as we see the two distinct actions that Jesus makes, that we understand that God can deal with both what created our problem and with the difficult circumstances that came as a result.
3. How do we respond to our storm? “Pick your fear.”
- vv. 40, 41.
- When we think of “fear” and this passage, we think of the disciples’ reaction to the storm. In v. 40, Jesus asks them, “Why are you so fearful?” Their reaction to the storm was caught up in their fear of the storm.
- But there is another “fear” mentioned right after that. In v. 41, it says, “And they feared exceedingly. . .”. In the Greek, it literally reads, “And they feared [a] fear great. . .”. This was their fear of the Lord.