I. Introduction -
A.Continuing Series: 7 Stories about the Unpredictable Side of Jesus. Tonight, deal with idea of Jesus allowing his disciples to be taken into the eye of a huge storm. I think this concept really creates a problem for our concept of the “loving” Jesus.
i.It reminds me of the poem, Footprints in the Sand:
“LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."
The LORD replied: "My son, my precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."
B. To be honest, I have a problem with this great, beautiful poem. These trials and suffering that we call the “Storms of Life” begs 2 key questions:
i. Why would Jesus allow them? Doesn’t he care?
ii. Where exactly is Jesus when they happen? If He knew they were coming, why didn’t he stop them?
iii. Important: How you answer these questions, will define the way in which you life your life and allow yourself to be used by God.
i. Not popular among modern-day evangelical thought. It’s theology says, “Nothing bad comes from God”. God wants us healthy, wealthy and happy.
C. Before we jump into tonight’s text, we first need to recognize the different types of “The Storms of Life”. There seems to be 3 distinct kinds:
i. Storms caused by us (our choices)
a. Illustration: Running out of gas when my wife Karen was pregnant
ii. Storms caused by the enemy (spiritual warfare)
a. Job - “Satan roaming the earth, comes to the throne of God.”
b. Peter - Jesus said, “Satan has asked for permission to sift you like wheat.”
iii. Storms caused by our Father (discipline and/or maturity)
a. God’s School of Self-Discovery. He uses storms in our life to show us ourselves to better reveal Himself!!
b. Read Mark 4:35-41
A. Background: Jesus’ Ministry Chronologically (Context)
i. The Ministry - Luke is the chronological gospel. It lists this story after the “Pivot” (Matt. 12) of Jesus’ ministry from the Jews to the Gentiles. The Kingdom was offered to the Jews first (Matt. 10), not the Gentiles. After the “unforgivable sin” by the corporate act of the leadership of Israel, the Kingdom is postponed and a new program is established, (i.e the mystery) the church. The word “church” not mentioned in OT. This story is about new training for new program.
ii. The Day – It was a Long Day, Jesus was worn out!!! In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus had spent the day healing and teaching including Peter’s mother-in-law and many others.
iii. The Place - Jesus teaches a multitude on the western seashore of Galilee. To escape the crowds for a brief rest, Jesus wanted to go the eastern shore. It’s coast had no large cities and therefore, fewer people. This trip was not on the disciples tour schedule. They had not made any advance preparations.
iv. The Setting – In the boat. Note this: Every time they get in a boat it is test time. Every time they are out in a boat with Jesus and He performs a miracle, it is a miracle that deals with discipleship. This is not a miracle for the multitudes, its for his disciples.
B. This story has a 3-part movement: On the shore before the storm, in the boat during the storm and on the boat after the storm. (Content)
i. On the shore before the storm – (verses 4:35-36)
a. (v. 35) “Let us go over to the other side” - This statement is VERY important. His intent is to go to the other side, not take them to the middle of the lake and drown. If He says the other side, that’s where your going.
b. (v. 36) “They took Him along” - Watch the pronouns in this story. Passage seems to indicate some arrogance by the disciples that THEY took Jesus along. They were professional fishermen who were in very familiar territory. The thinking was Jesus wants to go the other side, so WE will take him. Notice in verse 38 that Jesus was at the stern, or the back of the boat.
c. (v. 36) “Just as he was” – This probably means he was exhausted. After all, He fell asleep in the boat. In His humanity, He needed to rest after a long day of healing and preaching. Here Jesus’ humanity is emphasized. In a moment, His deity will be emphasized.
d. Point: In the midst of his human exhaustion, Jesus wants to teach the disciples a lesson about faith. The lecture was over, the labwork was about to begin. That’s the way He develops faith in all of His disciples…LABWORK!