On the day, Lord Jesus Christ said to the disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side”; they left the multitude with him, even as he was in the ship along with other small boats. (Mark 4:36)
Soon after, a big wind storm arose and the waves beat into the ship, so much that the boat was already filled. He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:23-27)
At least four of Lord Jesus’ disciples were fishermen, who have surely survived storms on this sea, and have also surely known fishermen who were lost at sea. They are strong, self-reliant men who would handle moderate danger as a matter of course. The danger on this evening is not moderate, but deadly.
The disciples panic and want their leader, to share their concern; to show a sense of urgency that might lead to a remedy. “Help us! Do something!” A great leader can often help people to solve great problems, but Lord Jesus’ casual attitude seems to insure that he will be no help in this urgent crisis. How can he help if he will not even rouse from his slumber?
Matthew and Luke, both of whom use Mark as one of their primary sources, change the disciples’ rebuke to an appeal presumably because of their discomfort at the disciples rebuking Jesus. In Matthew, they say, “Save us, Lord! We are dying!” (Matthew 8:25).
Like those early disciples, we pray panicked prayers to a God who appears to have abandoned us. “God, don’t you care that we are dying?” But the Father knows our needs and loves us enough even to send his beloved Son to save us. When life is difficult, we need to insure that our faith prevails over our fears.
Lord Jesus’ words, “Peace! Be still! in the Hebrew Scriptures portray God as exercising power over the waters of the earth. The creation story presents a picture of “God’s Spirit, hovering over the surface of the waters”. But God created “an expanse, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse” and God gathered the waters under the sky into one place so that dry land would appear. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith” They were greatly afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Genesis 1:7, 1:2, 1:9)
The disciples fail due to the fear of the storm and now they are afraid of Lord Jesus. They should have believe to have heard HIS Gospel and have seen him work miracle. But, they allow their fears to trump their faith. We would expect the disciples to rejoice at the calming of the sea, but instead they are still afraid greatly afraid as afraid of Lord Jesus’ Godly power as they were afraid of the storm.
Only God has power over seas and storms. Their question also provides the key to this story, which does more than to reveal Lord Jesus’ power. This is an epiphany story that reveals Lord Jesus as either God’s Son or God incarnate. His identity will gradually become clearer until Saint Peter’s confession. However, his vision will dim and the disciples will continue to fear. At the cross, however the Roman centurion who oversees the crucifixion (a Gentile) provides a clear answer. Whether due to apocalyptic signs (darkness and a torn temple veil) or something that he sees in Lord Jesus, the centurion says, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” (Psalm 107:29, Mark 15:39)
This story would have encouraged the early church, which experienced persecution and serves to encourage Christians suffering difficulties today.
Our Lord Jesus is the Admiral who protects all His sheep’s. It is wise to sail with our Savior, since the storm winds begin to blow and the waves of challenge begin to wash over us, He direct us toward the safety of the harbor.
May Lord Jesus be leader of our lives, Amen!
Source: Bible Expositions