This is part 4 of a multi-part series on the book of Mark.
Today, we’re in Mark 4:35-41
Jesus was often tired. He ran a sprint-marathon. He ran until he was out of gas, but then retreated to rest. He always initiated rest when he needed it. So after an exhausting day, evening came and he told his disciples to join him across to the other side of the lake (4:35).
Danger on the boat
They left the crowd and took Jesus onto the boat, tired and exhausted, along with a few other boats (presumably with more disciples?). A great windstorm arose and the boat began filling with water. The disciples were likely working hard to empty the water back into the lake, but they were fighting a losing battle against nature. They then looked to Jesus, but he was asleep!
Much like when one is working hard and then they notice someone else who isn’t putting any effort into the cause, the natural thought is, “Don’t you care about this?!” Jesus’ disciples wonder what is wrong with him when they are working tirelessly to purge the boat of water while he is asleep. “Do you not care that we are perishing?” they ask (4:38).
As a side note, Jesus must have been completely exhausted to remain asleep during such a storm! He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea something like: “Silence! Be muzzled” (4:39, using the Greek words). Immediately, the wind ceased and the waves broke. Then he looked at his disciples and asked, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (4:40).
Safety in Jesus
I think at this point I would be in complete shock. It seems that the disciples expected Jesus to be helping them bail water over the side of the boat while Jesus expected his disciples to simply ask him for help of a much higher order of magnitude. They didn’t realize fully who they were dealing with, to the point where they were filled with great fear and asked each other, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (4:41).
A great question, indeed! They were dealing with no ordinary man who would resort to bailing buckets of water over the side of a sinking boat. Jesus attacked the problem from a higher level: when facing a boat filling up with water from the sea, why not simply calm the sea? The thought would never occur to mere mortals like us, hence the absolute astonishment of the disciples in his boat, and certainly the other boats full of disciples as well.
Problem-Solving with our Savior
We need to realize who we are dealing with! We solve problems from the bottom up while he solves them from the top down. Perhaps I need to recall this when I’m facing problems and fighting them from the wrong direction!
He never rebuked the disciples for believing they were in danger, but for believing he didn’t care about them in it. After all, he was in the boat with them. The lesson is not necessarily that we should expect him to calm the sea every time it gets rough; rather, that we should ask him for help FIRST and see how he wants to handle it instead of wasting time freaking out.
One time I was at work praying and looking out the front door, asking the LORD for help. I had no idea how to solve a particular problem and needed an expert in the field. No joke, as I was staring out of my office window and through the front door (a glass door) of the office, in walked someone I had only met one time and who had gotten our address from someone else. He had the skillset to solve the problem and just happened to have “felt like” coming by to see what we were up to. When you involve the LORD in your work, God-sized things will happen.
Greg is the President of OPEN USA. He used his education to work as a tentmaker in the Middle East for 8.5 years seeking to plant a church amongst a least-reached people group. Currently back in the USA with his wife and children, they aim to return to finish what the LORD used them to start.
To learn more about B4T, read Business for Transformation by Patrick Lai.