Summary: Apostles, Pt. 5
LAUNCH OUT (MARK 4:35-41)
Schroeder was playing his piano oblivious to the watchful and adoring eyes of the feisty but unrequited Lucy before him. Lucy asked Schroeder, who was doing his own thing and ignoring her as usual, what love is. Schroeder than stood up and quoted: “Love: a noun referring to a deep, intense, ineffable feeling toward another person or persons.”
Schroeder then sat down to resume playing the piano as if nothing happened. Lucy looked dreamily into space and moaned about being neglected, “On paper, he’s great.”
The disciples were the most eager learners but they were never tested. They asked a lot of questions and were given answers others weren’t. They heard their share of theology, the law and its interpretation, but all they had were head knowledge, great teaching and doctrinal lessons.
Someone once said, “I used to have a handle on life; then it broke.”
There are two lake crossings in the gospels, one when Jesus was with the disciples and the other when Jesus later joined the disciples. The first one has Jesus sleeping on the boat and the second has him walking on the water. Both lessons served as building trust and faith in the Lord.
When are you most vulnerable to distrust and unbelief? How do you react when fear threatens and danger lurks? What are we to do instead?
You Do Not Have to Comprehend Everything – You Are with Company
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. (Mark 4:35-38)
One day Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes fame and his stuffed tiger (Hobbes) were given a choice of a story before going to bed. His father asked, “What story do you want?” Without hesitation, Calvin replied, “I want a story about Hobbes and me.” His father rubbed his jaw as he began, “OK, Hmm, Let’s see. There was a boy named Calvin who lived with a tiger named Hobbes.” Calvin enthused, “This is great!”
Calvin’s father continued, “Today they got up at the crack of dawn and made a huge ruckus, running up the stairs, galump, galump, galump, and sliding down again, bump, bump, bump, bump.” His son, however, interrupted him and added: “Yeah, then the big bad dad yelled that if we didn’t knock it off, he’d mail us to Pluto third class.”
After silencing Calvin, his father resumed, “At last, Calvin went outside, and it was nice and quiet in the house again, at least for a while. Well, good night.” To this Calvin protested, “Good night? That’s not the end. You didn’t even get us to lunchtime.” His father kissed him good night as he commented, “That’s right. It’s not the end of the story. This story doesn’t have an end. You and Hobbes will write more of it tomorrow and every day after. But now it’s time to sleep, so good night.” The ambushed Calvin said, “Oh! Ok, good night.” After his father left, Calvin and Hobbes hugged each other good night as Calvin remarked, “This is a good story about us if it doesn’t end. That’s the kind of story I like best! Good night, old buddy.” Hobbes responded, “Me too! See you tomorrow.”
The gospel of Mark gives us details not in Matthew or Luke’s account. For example, Mark says it is a “furious squall (of wind)” or “big (megas) squall/storm” (2 Peter 2:17) in Greek (v 37), not just a “storm (of) wind” (Luke 8:23). “Broke over”(v 37) is the Greek verb for “beat” and “nearly swamped” (v 37) is not as dramatic as the Greek for “full.” Matthew’s account is even more dramatic in Greek: He chooses the words “a great (megas) earthquake (seismos)” (Matt 8:24) and the ship was “covered with the waves.” Luke’s Greek account notes that they “were filled” and “were in danger.” (Luke 8:23)
Of course Jesus knew a storm was coming. The parallel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke stress that Jesus was the planner and sender. He organized the trip, booked the time and even arranged the seating. It was deliberate, premeditated, calculated. When Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side,” he did not mean heaven! Matthew writes, “When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake” (Matt 8:18) and Luke records, “One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake” (Luke 8:22), both accounts adding “of the lake” to Mark’s account.