Summary: Based on Mark 4:35-41, this sermon encourages people to accept Christ’s invitation to get in the boat with him, and journey to the other side.
First Christian Church in Earlington
Rev. Brian Morse
Traditional Worship: Sunday 9:30 am
Casual Worship: Saturday 5:30 pm
215 East Main Street, Across the street from the Post Office
June 25th, 2006 -- Mark 4:35-41
35 On that day, when evening had come, (Jesus) said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ 36And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ 39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ 41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’
I) Human beings face many storms. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, rich or poor, young or old. Everybody faces storms that scare them. Everybody faces storms when all they can do is to stay in the boat with Jesus.
It is common in sermons to talk about the dramatic storms. We all have these storms. Yet, what is often missed are the storms that are less dramatic, but just as frightening. For instance, somewhere in a nursing home there is a lady who is facing the storm losing her dignity. She prays that she does not lose control of her bladder during the mid-day meal. She is scared, because it has happened before. Yet, she steps out in faith each and every day. She holds her head up high as she enters the dining room. She has dignity, because she trusts that Jesus is in her boat.
II) There are two things that are always true...and equally true. They are as follows:
NUMBER ONE: Jesus Christ is always with you. He is closer than you can imagine. His intimacy is even closer than that of a mother with a child in her womb. You may ask, “ Is Christ with non-believers?”. To the best that I can tell from scripture, yes. In Revelation 3, Jesus is knocking at the door wanting to be let in. When we accept Christ into our lives, and into our hearts, then we acknowledge his presence. That’s when the journey of discipleship can begin.
NUMBER TWO: Jesus Christ is the Ruler of the Universe. He is the Cosmic Ruler. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In other words, he is God.
Both of these statements are equally true. They are true all of the time. Jesus Christ is the Ruler of All, and he is closer to you than your best friend, lover, or mother.
III) Let’s look a little closer at this biblical text. It is a story of transition. Jesus has just finished preaching. His preaching contained many parables. Parables give people a taste, or a hint, of what the heavenly mysteries are. I believe that in the parables, Jesus provides a lens through which people can get some vague idea about things which are simply too grand for human minds to understand.
It is at this point that Jesus says to the disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” The other side of what? The sea to be sure, yet much more. When the disciples make it across this sea, they will have come to a deeper understanding of who Jesus is.
Crossing the sea, he calms the storm. Upon arriving at the other side, they are met by a man possessed by an unclean spirit. Here they witness first-hand the amazing power of Christ....the amazing power of God.
The journey across the sea starts at evening. The disciples are crossing the sea in the darkness of night. Yet, in this darkness, they have with them the Light of the World. The windstorm begins...and grows. The disciples are terrified. ...... Jesus, is asleep.
The disciples wake Jesus up and say to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” They do not know it, but they have just said a prayer to God.
Jesus then rebukes the wind, and says to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceases, and there is a dead calm. Jesus, recognizing that these disciples are still in the dark, says to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And then verse 41 sums up the disciples feelings. It says, “And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’”