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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Calming Our Storms (Mark 4)

We are probably all familiar with Jesus calming the storm. But do we really understand the significance of that action, both then, for the disciples as well as today, in our lives? When we face an insurmountable storm, Jesus is the only One who can calm the sea.

Mark tells the story of Jesus' and his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee in a fishing boat when a fierce storm overcame them with waves breaking over the side. Most of the disciples were professional fishermen, very familiar with this body of water also known as Lake Tiberias. But something about this storm made them all fear for their lives.

Mark 4:35-41 [35] On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” [36] Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. [37] And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. [38] But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” [39] Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. [40] But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” [41] And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!

So, as all of this is happening, Jesus is asleep in the stern, not at all worried about the storm. It doesn't prevent Him from sleeping. And when we are trusting in Jesus surrendering to Him even when we are going to sleep, the storms of this life shouldn't prevent us from sleeping either.

But the disciples came to Him in a panic and woke Him up. To their surprise, Jesus rebukes the wind and the sea and everything immediately became calm.

Then Jesus rebuked the disciples' lack of faith because He had told them they were going to cross over to the other side.

The reason the disciples were struggling with their faith was not that they didn't believe in Jesus. Their problem was that they didn't understand who Jesus is. This is why in verse 41 they say, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"

The disciples thought Jesus was just a man, a rabbi with authority and the ability to heal people. But they also knew only God could calm the sea:

Psalm 89:9 "You rule the raging of the sea; when waves rise, You still them."

But now they had just witnessed, Jesus doing something that only God, Himself, could do. Yet they still could not understand that Jesus was God who appeared in human flesh.

Just like us, they underestimated Jesus' power to handle the storms in our lives. But when we truly understand that Jesus is God, Lord of all, we can trust Him with every storm that comes in this life. We just have to lean into Him rather than panicking and trying to deal with the storms by our own strength.

As His followers, we must be prepared for storms to rise up quickly before us and seem absolutely insurmountable. But when we surrender to Jesus instead of to the storm, He promises to deliver us safely to the other side.

Dear Lord, Thank you for stepping off the throne and putting on human flesh to not only provide a way for us to be forgiven but also a way for us to truly know You intimately so that we can trust You through the storms. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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