Summary: As we deal with the coronavirus we can easily become afraid. Jesus calms the storms.
March 24, 2020
When I was growing up I loved watching horror movies. They were amazing! I loved them! My style of horror movies was watching Creature Features when I was growing up. They were on almost every Friday night. They had titles like Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy and those kinds of movies. Those were horror movies back in the olden days.
Today’s movies bring too much fear to me. I won’t watch them. I’ve seen a couple of the oldies, like Friday the 13th and Halloween and I couldn’t sleep for days. So, I don’t watch them.
Why am I talking about horror movies? Well, it kind of feels like we’re living in a strange type of horror movie right now. I’m not trying to paint a bad picture for you, but we’re in scary and uncertain times. We really don’t know what tomorrow will bring or what the next bit of news is going to look like.
Yet, the Bible tells us, “Do not fear.” But for some of us, we feel like we’re living in fear. Fear of going to the grocery store. Fear when we cough or sneeze, fear of opening our mail, there’s a state of fear all around us.
But the Bible says DO NOT FEAR!! It means we are not to allow anxiety or worry rule our lives or take root in our hearts. We are not to be people of panic. We are to be a people of faith.
In Romans 8:1, Paul told us we’ve been justified by God, that we are no longer condemned. We trust that we were chosen by God, before the creation of anything, so we shouldn’t fear His rejection. We know with Christ as our Shepherd, we need not fear the valley of the shadow of death. In Psalm 121, the psalmist tells us God is the Maker of heaven and earth watching over us, so we need not fear anything.
We don’t want to be afraid, we want peace. We want that peace from God which surpasses all understanding. We want that peace to guard our hearts and minds. Peace seems so passive, yet, it’s an extremely powerful word.
Yet, here we are and many of us are struggling with fear and anxiety. So, I want to share a story with you about some guys who were totally scared and freaked out about something that was happening in their lives.
We’re going to be looking at a story from the Gospel of Mark, in chapter 4. Jesus and the disciples had been tremendously busy doing ministry. Mark 4:1 starts out by telling us - - -
1 Again Jesus began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
The crowds were huge, there were so many people, it was easier for Jesus to teach from a boat. There was no rest . . . until finally late in the day, Jesus gave the disciples an offer they couldn’t refuse. Let’s listen to what happened in 4:35-41 --
35 On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.”
36 And leaving the crowd, they took Him with them in the boat, just as He was. And other boats were with Him.
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.
38 But Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
39 And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
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?” – Mark 4:35-41
It was the end of a busy day and Jesus said to the disciples, let’s go to the other side, we can relax, eat and hang out. Sounds like a great plan. Let’s look at what really happened - - -
The key to understanding this story lies in one important question. Whose idea was it to get in the boat in the first place?
Go back and read the text. The answer is very plain. At the end of a busy day, a day where they spent hours ministering to the needs of people — after giving and giving, it was Jesus who said, “Let’s go across to the other side.” I’m sure the weary and tired disciples were thrilled at the offer.