Summary: Each chapter is designed and written by Mark to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. . In chapter 4 the disciples have to decide if Jesus is more than a Jewish prophet who heals people. Faith in Jesus overcomes fear. Fear will corrode our confidence in God's goodness
In Jesus Holy Name June 20, 2021
Text: Mark 4:35-41 Pentecost IV Redeemer
“In the Storms of Life”
Each Sunday our gospel readings are from the Book of Mark. Mark begins by saying. This is the history of what God is doing in Jesus. This is the beginning of the good news about Jesus ….the Son of God.” Each chapter is designed and written by Mark to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Not only who He is but what He will accomplish by His death and resurrection. In chapter 1 Jesus expelled demons from people. They knew who He was, the Holy One of God. In Chapter 3 the Pharisees tried to “cancel” Jesus. In chapter 4 the disciples have to decide if Jesus is more than a Jewish prophet who heals people.
(read the text from “The Message”)
Our story takes place on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus and his disciples are in the middle of a furious storm. Waves were breaking over the boat so that it was nearly swamped. This is nothing unusual on the Sea of Galilee. It is in a deep bowl surrounded by high hills and mountains.
To the north, you can see Mt. Hermon in the distance. Mt. Hermon is capped with snow, and sometimes the cold air from the top of the Mountain rushes down the mountain and blows across the lake.
The force of the cold air colliding with the hot moist air around Galilee can be explosive. Waves can be 6 to 8 feet in height. It is a terrifying experience, especially when you are in a boat that is 26 feet long, 7 feet wide and only 4.5 feet high. The first century fishing boats were made for throwing nets over the side and drawing them in not for sailing in a storm.
Storms will come. And when a storm hits no amount of human intervention will stop the storm. Man made levees don’t always work. Mark tells us the disciples were afraid. Life jackets were not yet invented. Peter and John, seasoned sailors struggle to keep the sail down. Rain fell from the night sky in buckets. There is no light from the moon. It is dark. Only the lightning flash breaks the blackness of the night. The boat is bouncing, like a kite in the wind. Matthew the tax collector was trying to keep his lunch down. The thunder roars. The wind is screaming. The shouts of the disciples are carried away on the wind.
Jesus is drained from healing and teaching. The crowds were so large He was teaching from a boat just off the shore. Now exhausted. He is sleeping. The storm rages for hours. Fear of death overwhelms. No one can bail fast enough. How can Jesus still be asleep? Jesus kept on sleeping. Jesus kept on sleeping as they strained at the oars. He kept on sleeping when they lowered the sail. He kept on sleeping as they bailed water out of the ship even as more poured in.
Listen to their words: “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
When storms come we might find ourselves saying the same thing, wondering if God really cares about our plight. We’ve all been there. We are in the middle of a crisis. In the middle of a divorce, tossed by guilt. In the middle of debt, tossed by creditors. In the middle of chemotherapy, fearing it will not work. It seems like God is off somewhere….and we forget that He is all knowing.
Max Lucado in his book “Fearless” writes: “Fear can overwhelm us. Fear
corrodes our confidence in God’s power and goodness. Fear unleashes a swarm of doubts. Fear makes us forget what Jesus has done and how good God is. Fear sucks the life out of your soul.” (Fearless p. 9,10)
Storms will come into our lives. Winds of adversity blow into our lives. Fear will knock on your door.
Human experience tells us we shall see a storm, a storm so intense our dreams, our hopes, our plans, our tomorrows, our lives will be turned topsy-turvy and the things which once seemed unshakable will crumble and lie shattered at our feet. Our storm may come in the form of an illness or an accident, a betrayal, a disappointment, a failure, or a tragedy of unexpected and monumental proportions.
When storms come it does not mean that God does not love you. It does not mean that God is angry or He is paying you back. Sometimes the storms that happen are self made. Sometimes storms just happen. “God causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:45) In other words, good and bad happen to all. The important thing