Summary: It is incredible what can be learned in just one night with Jesus. A preacher I know once said, "It' doesn't matter what happens to a Christian, what matters is how we react to what happens. Everything the Lord allows is a teaching experience.
ONE NIGHT WITH JESUS PART II
TEXT: MARK 14:22-33
Let’s review what we’ve already learned. He sent and He went: vss 22, 23. He knew of the coming storm, but He sent them out into it. He, the Alpha and Omega – He knows the end from the beginning and all the in-between. When we are in a storm, we are not necessarily out of the Lord's will, but right where He put us. If God send us, everything will be OK. He allows trials to come to help us grow our faith. That is the key: HE sent them.
He went up into a mountain to pray. When he sends us out on the sea of this troubled world, He is only a prayer away. He cannot forget us, because our names are engraved in the palms of His hands (Isa. 49: 14, 15). Even though we may forget Him, He never forgets us.
Jesus prayed and He stayed - vss 23, 24. Jesus went to pray. Even though He Himself, being God, was prayed to -- He was also a man, and as a man He needed to pray. He had multiplied the loaves and fishes and fed more than 5,000 men, not including the women and children, and He felt He needed to be alone, to commune with His Father, and be replenished in His human spirit. We too should follow the example of our Master and set aside time to pray, and in solitary communion, allow Him to feed our souls. In the secret place of prayer is where our faith is built up, and where we keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 20, 21).
Jesus also stayed. He stayed until it was evening, and until the disciples were in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves and the wind was blowing unfavorable. Mark 6: 48 says they were "toiling in rowing," (hard/painful effort) and Jesus saw them. The wind was "contrary": not blowing in a favorable direction for them to reach the opposite shore, so they could not use the sails, but they were dutifully working at the oars to achieve the goal Christ had set for them. He stayed until sometime between 3 and 6 A.M. In other words, He prayed a long time. He wanted to linger in communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We too should follow our Master's example and get in the practice of having a good, long season of prayer.
When Jesus prayed, He was not praying just for Himself, He was praying for His own, because He is always interceding for His own. So too, should we intercede for others when we pray. So, in the storms of life, remember, He is staying in prayer for us. Also, it is only by prayer that we are able to withstand the wiles of the devil. The only way to pray Biblically, is by giving attention to the Word of God, for "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10: 17).
He walked: He came to them in the midst of the sea. They had feasted earlier, but after the blessing, many times the Lord will allow a storm to come. We also learned that tests come to us by degrees. The first time they were in the storm He was in the boat with them. This time, He let them go on – seemingly alone, so they could exercise their faith. After the feeding of the 5,000, they each had a basket of food to themselves, but after the blessing, that’s when the storm may come. We noticed also, that He could have calmed the storm from where He had been praying, but instead, He came to them personally. The same One who gave Elisha the power to make iron float on water, in 2 Kings 6: 6, is the same One who now walked on water.
Then of course, we read of the incredible miracle of walking on the water – showing His power over the elements, and over all things He has made (Col. 1: 16, 17). We don’t know how He did it, He could have condensed the water that was under Him each step He took, and caused it to congeal into a state that would support His weight; or He could have suspended the action of gravity upon Himself. We read in Job, "He treads upon the waves of the sea" (9: 8). In Isaiah He "rides upon the wings of the wind" (51: 10).
He Talked: He immediately calmed their fears by speaking to them. He still does so today: He speaks to us BY HIS WORD, and BY HIS SPIRIT. What the Bible says is what God says. It is God’s Word written. He will speak peace to us in the midst of the troubled seas of life. His name to us is peace and joy. We learned that He did not immediately calm the storm, but He said “Don’t be afraid. I am here with you.” Even if He seemingly waits, and waits, He will always come on time. He said, “If my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15: 7).