Summary: When the storms of life seem as though they will drown us, that’s the time to keep paddling instead of bailing out on God.
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Pastor James May
FORGET ABOUT BAILING, JUST KEEP PADDLING
A man stood beside the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had already been a tiresome but exciting day and some wonderful things had happened. While most did not know this man, there were a few men, listed among his closest friends, that traveled with him. Throughout this long day he had been harassed by the Scribes and Pharisees because he had broken the ancient custom of the Jews doing things on the Sabbath that was forbidden in Jewish Law. He was considered as a heretic and branded as a traitor to Israel and a troublemaker to the Roman Occupational Government.
All day long he had been thronged by the crowds who considered him to be a great Rabbi and he loved to teach concerning the things of God. It seemed that there was something very convincing about the words that he spoke so that wherever he went he drew a crowd. It was this ability to draw followers that troubled the Romans the most. Their thought was that a man with this much influence could easily raise an army and cause a rebellion so they watched him very closely.
The crowds that followed were hungry for knowledge so they drew every bit of physical strength from him, continuing to press for more even when he became extremely tired.
Late in the day he escaped the crowds for a few moments to disappear into a nearby home to take refuge with his friends but even there he didn’t get much rest because they too were hungry for knowledge that he could give.
After a long time he once again emerged from the house only to find that the crowds had not dissipated. As quickly as he stepped out, he was immediately thronged again. It was like a scene that we see so often where the famous are followed and thronged with admirers wherever they go.
Mentally he wanted to continue to teach but physically he was absolutely worn out, after all just how much punishment can the body take, so he indicated to his friends that he wanted to get away from the crowds for a time to rest and relax. The only means of escape was to get into a fishing boat and cross the Sea of Galilee to the land of the Gadarenes so that’s what he did.
Almost the instant the boat cast off from the dock, he searched for a secluded place to take a nap and get some much needed rest.
Mark 4:35-41, "And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
Just in case you haven’t figured it out yet, that man who was so very tired and weak in his physical body was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I wanted to make the point that he was very much a man and still very much God.
Jesus had an ulterior motive for crossing Galilee in that boat that night. He knew what lay ahead, a great trial of the faith of his disciples. He also knew the miracle that lay just across the water when he would cast the demons out of the demoniac in the cemeteries of the Gadarenes. Knowing that all of these things would begin to happen very quickly didn’t bother Jesus in the least. He found a place to lay down and rest and was asleep almost immediately.