6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Even in areas where we are confident, we are completely vulnerable. Our only real security comes through a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Helpless With What We Do Best

(Mark 4:35-41)

1. Applying for a job today is a science. Here are a few bloopers from job applications and resumes.

• Application: How large was the department you worked in with your last company? “A: 3 stories.”

• A resume listed a skill as “being bi-lingual in three languages”

• Background: “28 dog years of experience in sales (four human).”

• In the section that read “Emergency Contact Number” she wrote “911.”


2. Sometimes people are not very good at what they think is an area of expertise.

3. In reality, our “quality” is relative in any area; we compare to others.

4. But, compared to God’s grandeur, our best and worst are not that far apart.

5. Yet we pride ourselves and find security in our abilities, abilities that cannot provide us with the security or significance we crave.

Main Idea: Even in areas where we are confident, we are completely vulnerable. Our only real security comes through a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

I. A Simple Journey Turns DANGEROUS (35-38)

A. The disciples found DANGER in their area of expertise (35)

1. “leaving the crowds”

2. disciples “take him along” – they were sailors, Jesus a builder

3. sailing on the sea was their area of expertise, their area of pride;they were in their area of strength

4. “…just as he was” -- Exhausted, drained, a spontaneous decision

5. Jesus not just a functionary, but a man; he remained God, but set aside the use of his divine prerogatives… [God became a man]

B. MANY people were in danger (36)

C. A storm AROSE (37)

We do not have to pass verdicts as to what God causes and what Satan causes

From the human perspective, things happen; ultimately all with God’s permission

Ecclesiastes 9:11, “ Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.”

D. Jesus was not disinterested, but EXHAUSTED (38)

E. The disciples REBUKE Jesus with a question (38b)

1. Applications about rebuking his DIVINE nature

• We too often feel we must rebuke the Lord

• Job did; he did not like what God was allowing…but was faithful

• We too often dislike what God allows…

2. Applications about rebuking his HUMAN nature

• We can learn something about our dissatisfaction with others…situaiton

• Our experiences not the standard: disciples were tired, but not like Jesus was

• They thought the worst rather than the best (assigning motives)

• Is it good to make excuses for people? Sometimes, (esp. if good track record)

II. Jesus SILENCES and TRUMPS His Critical Disciples (39-41)

A. The disciples were masters of sailing, but Jesus is MASTER of all

B. He REBUKES the wind and sea (39)

C. The Jewish believers would immediately contrast this to JONAH

Jonah 1:4-6 reads, “But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

1. Similarities: both sleeping, both leaving a place of ministry, both rebuked for being unconcerned about impending death, both delivered the crew

2. In a sense, Jonah was offered as a sacrifice to deliver the crew, Jesus later offered as a sacrifice to deliver mankind

3. Contrast: God displeased at Jonah, pleased with Jesus

4. Jesus glorified, Jonah humiliated

D. He REBUKES his disciples (40)

E. The disciples REBUKE themselves with a question (41)

1. They are awestruck

2. They expected a miracle-working Messiah, but not to this extent

3. In retrospect it was easier to see the clear divinity of Jesus Christ

F. We, too find false security in our areas of CONTROL

Humility is an important Christian virtue; it is opposite of a haughty spirit. Humility is simply being in tune with reality, and that reality is that we live each moment by God’s grace; everything we have comes from God, but, compared to God, given us in minute portions. We may feel like a big fish in a little pond, but the pond is tiny.

Jonah 1:14-16 says, “14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.

Mark 4:41, “And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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