Text: Gospel of Mark 4: 35-41 (NASB)
There are times when the believer finds himself challenged by diverse circumstances that cause him to doubt the presence of God in his/her lives. On many occasions, the believer will utter words of total delusion; because does not seem to be paying any attention to his circumstances. In fact, there is a lesson in this; sometimes God is indifferent, in our mind, to our situation. He will not often save us when things are heating up, but he will save us at the right moment. However, it must be stated, that even when God is not present, he is still working in History to bring us into alignment with his plan. There is a marvelous quote that came across my desk on today that has implications on this message.
The will of God will never take you Where the Grace of God cannot keep you, Where the arms of God cannot support you, Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs, where the power of God cannot endow you (The Will of God, Author Unknown)
This is good news to the believer, wherever you find yourself in, God want let you sink to low before his: Grace, arms, riches, or power comes to rescue from the situations of life.
This book is unique in its theological position and Gospel proclamation. It is presents to the Roman world the idea that: Jesus is not some military leader, but that he is a servant of the Lord. The greatest lesson that one can draw from the life of Jesus Christ is the concept of, humility. Humility can be defined as “stooping to conquer.” That is: if you want to up in him, you must go down. Christ never boasted of his abilities, but he demonstrated through humble obedience the power that he really possess. Another major concept in this book is: the concept of “hiddeness” That is, it seems that; the more he explained to those who were closes to him who he was, the more unaware they were. There are so many people who can come to church, and perform all the duties of a church-worker, but the word of God is veiled in their eyes. This passage will teach us this concept in great detail. As we take note on the response of the response of the disciples, let us consider our own lives in a storm.
This context of this passage takes to the sea side, where Jesus is providing instruction for those who have gathered to hear the message:
And he began to teach again by the sea. And such a very great multitude gathered to Him that He got into a boat in the sea and sat down; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the
land. (Spiros Zodhiates)
The scene teaches a vital truth that needs to be explored. The people came to Jesus by the sea side. The custom, as indicated by the key word “again”, shows a great paradigm between Christ and the Church in a Post-Modern era. This society stresses experience of the clear expositional teaching of the word of God. People come to Church for a variety of reasons, but their coming should arouse within us the desire to share with them the: love of God in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Accordingly, Jesus is very strategic in his methodology of teaching:
And He did not speak to them without a parable, but He was explaining everything privately to His Disciples. (Spiros Zodhiates)
Christ veiled his teaching to those who couldn’t handle the meat, but gave revelation to those whom he had chosen. When you think about where you are, it is because God chose you that he decided to make known unto the knowledge of his will. People think that they are chosen just to be blessed. To the contrary, God chose you to give you revelation that everybody can’t have. Now we come to the place where ministry has ended for the day, and Jesus is now going to put his disciples through a personal test that will challenged how much they have retained the information received.
Sending into the Storm: (35-36) Herein lies a theological problem that must be stated: is it true that God will send you into a problem? The reply is: yes, God will often allow us to ride into a storm for the purpose of testing and strengthening our faith in him. The question is simply, “how do I know do I know that God sent me into the storm?” When you find yourself in place where you comfort zone is being tried by a situation, than rest assure you are being tested for the glory of God. The text suggests these words:
And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other
side.” (Spiros Zodhiates)
We must raise a valuable question: “did Christ know what was on the other side?” In response, yes, it is true that Jesus was 100% Human, but he was nevertheless the one Created all thing by the word of his mouth. This is a dilemma with many believers; they ask the question, “Did God know I was going to go through this?” God knew and had already prepared the deliverance. God is not ignorant concerning the problems we face in our lives. As a result, he can say, “let us go to the other side.” Note, there is a powerful principle, Christ is with is with me in the storm, even when I cannot perceive his presence. The text suggests:
And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was,in the boat; and other boats were with Him. (Spiros Zodhiates)
The disciples with the other boats leave the multitude behind, not knowing the test that lies before them. Often God will take you apart from the crowed so that you can learn something. Furthermore, the crowed doesn’t possess the knowledge that you have to come along with you in this journey. The crowed would never understand the concept of “God sending a person” in a storm. However, those who know God and love God will understand that God has a purpose in our storms.
Severity of the Storm: (37-38) We must establish that: there are certain that range from being mild to being extremely severe. That is the problem in this text; God sends them into a severe storm. The Lord allows nature to take its best shot, with Jesus on the Ship. That is amazing to me, Jesus is on the ship, but permits the storm to take its best shot. Notice what the text bares out:
And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. (Spiros Zodhiates)
The winds and waves begin to rock the boat in different directions. Note, it is night, it is a strong storm, and their boat is being subjected to the tempest of the storm. How do you respond when the tempest of life begin to rock your boat? Everything you possess seems to be losing control, including your sanity? This is a sinking situation! Note, they did not sink, but they were in the process of sinking. However, there is a beautiful imagery in the text of our Lord:
And He Himself was in the stern asleep on the cushion; (Spiros Zodhiates)
Jesus leaves a model of how to respond to a sinking situation. It does not mean he could not handle the storm. However, Jesus knew that they would get safely over to the other side. When you are cognitive that God sent you in it, then you can rest in him and know that he will take good care of you. Rest in the storm!
Sovereignty of God in the Storm (38b-41): This is a fundamental principle that one must learn: God is in control. We are not the masters of our own destinies as many people would suggest. That concept is void to scripture. To the contrary, God is in control of our lives. Notice, the disciples’ response to the storm:
and they awoke Him and said to Him, “teacher, do You not care that we are
perishing? (Spiros Zodhiates)
They began to question the Christ that had began to unveil their minds with grand revelation. However, these disciples prove one thing. They are ignorant of the person with them in the storm. Thus, Jesus gives them a visual demonstration:
And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, Be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. (Spiros Zodhiates)
Note the irony and the sheer embarrassment on the part of the disciples. The sinking situation is nothing in the control of God. These disciples had a pessimistic view of the situation. Thus, their response was out of irrational fear of what was unknown. They did not believe that they would survive, but Christ teaches another graphic lesson of his Person. Notice, the disappointment of Christ:
And He said to them, “Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no
faith? (Spiros Zodhiates)
This is a faithless generation. People do not believe God; because it does not appeal to the humanistic understanding to believe God. However, walking with Christ requires that you believe God; because there are going to be situations that will that will be impossible to deal with. Thus, you need an anchor that grips the solid rock, which is Christ. Finally, note the irony of the knowledge of the Disciples. Note verse 34:
And He did not speak to them without a parable,; but He was explaining everything privately to his disciples (Spiros Zodhiates)
This is such a profound statement, they were suppose to have the knowledge & revelation granted to them by Christ, but notice the disheartening truth.
And they became very much afraid and said to one another,” who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? (Spiros Zodhiates)
It is one thing for the crowed not to get the message, but it is another thing for those whom you invest time into not possess the knowledge. There are many people in the church who really do not know Jesus. Thus, there life is filled with emptiness, and they respond negatively to a storm. To the contrary, knowing Jesus will allow you to respond to the storm in faith, knowing that God will make the way.