Summary: When the storms of life come crashing in, are we tempted to ask, "Jesus, Don’t You Care?"
"JESUS, DON’T YOU CARE?"
The Sea Of Galilee, sometimes called The Lake of Gennesaret, is located in Israel. It is surrounded by hills and mountains. It is much, much smaller than Lake Erie: But like Erie it is subject to quick developing, violent storms. Several years ago our newspapers were filled with stories of three teenagers who set out in a small Boston Whaler for a trip between Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard. A sudden storm swamped their small boat. Two boys died. A girl was found alive 10 hours later. This winter has proved that the weather forecasters do not always know when a storm is going to hit.
Nearby Gloucester received nationwide attention because of the "Perfect Storm," which spawned a best selling book and movie by the same name. (By the way, a member of this church filled the fuel tanks of that boat just before its final, deadly trip to sea.) Living near to the coast, we can understand the danger of storms.
In a children’s Sunday School class, most of us learned the story that I just read from the Book of Mark. Jesus and some of his disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had a heavy teaching/preaching schedule that day. He was tired and he fell asleep on some type of a cushion in the stern of the boat.(Certainly not a USCG approved life cushion.) While he was sleeping, "A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped."(v.17) Verse 36 informs us that there were other boats in Jesus’ fleet that day. Other lives were also in danger. Living near the water has taught me that not all fisherman can swim.
(Illustration: An 87 year old lady, Adeline, who spent much of her early life between New Bedford and Cuttyhunk Island, used to tell me of her brother who would fish and take her for boat rides 80 years ago, even though he could not swim. Younger Adeline learned to dive and to swim at age three Their mother was always worried when her children were on the water.) Surly the disciples could tell stories of friends who drowned in the Sea of Galilee.
The New Testament story of Peter walking on the water implies to me that the fisherman Peter could not swim. He took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink. He was saved when Jesus reached out his hand to help. Without Jesus we are sunk. The longer we live the Christian life, the more we realize that we need him involved in every area of our lives, every moment of every day.(24/7)
We know who Jesus is. We know that he loves us. We know how he has helped us in the past. We read his Word, listen to sermons, listen to Christian radio broadcasts, and even have Christian CD’s in our cars--And yet at times our faith is not quite strong enough and we, like the disciples, ask, "Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?"(v.38) May I point out five acts of Jesus which are added proof that he cares. Moffett’s translation of Mark reads, "Teacher, are we to drown for all you care?" JESUS CARES.
I. HE CARED ENOUGH TO LEAVE HEAVEN FOR THIRTY THREE HARD YEARS AS A MAN ON EARTH.
"Jesus Christ is not only Lord over his church but also Lord of all creation. ‘For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities: all things were created by him and for him.’(Colossians 1:16) The Creator—Lord also controls what he created. ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.’(Colossians 1:17)"(Expositors Bible Commentary)
The one who created the universe and man, knows what it is to walk in a human’s body. To feel a human’s desires, hungers, fears… He shows us that no matter how dark and deep the trial, faith in and obedience to God can save every soul. He was made a little lower than the angels. (We had a president who often said, "I feel your pain." I was always suspect…) Jesus was very much acquainted with our sorrows and pains. God lived as a man.
II. HE CARED ENOUGH TO TEACH US OF GOD.
He reminded us that to see him was to see God. He reminded us to be about our Father’s business. He showed us how to love our God with our all and also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Has he taught you to love yourself? There is a fine line between pride and a healthy self-image. The disciples must have been a bit proud to think that they were in the Messiah’s boat. They had high hopes for their Leader to become the Leader of the world. They also had high hopes that they would rule in his kingdom. They were thinking their hopes and plans were going to be drowned in a freak storm. He taught us that God expects humility, faith, trust, servanthood, hope, and love. He taught us that what we do in Jesus’ name gets noticed by the Father. Remember that Mark tells us that "There were also other boats with him." (V. 36) Others are affected by our lack of faith, by our terror and bewilderment. We are surrounded by people who need to see faith work.