Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus Calms the Storm

Mark 4:35-41

by Patrick Griffey

     Throughout these devotionals, I’ve emphasized a handful of times the “omni-s” of God. Omnipotence meaning all-powerful, omnipresence meaning all-present and omniscience meaning all-knowing. The Lord’s omnipotence takes center stage in this passage of Scripture. The disciples have seen Jesus perform incredible miracles and provide revolutionary teaching but we see where their understanding of Jesus is still lacking.

     The passage begins with Jesus telling His disciples to go to the other side of the sea. If we look at this through the lens of Christ’s omniscience, He knows what awaits them on their journey. As they go about sailing to the other side, a wild storm comes and the disciples are tossed about the ship …while Jesus sleeps on a cushion. If I were in the disciples’ shoes, I would absolutely have joined them in their fear but we have to remember something about at least Simon and Andrew: they were fishermen! This was not necessarily uncharted territory for those two men, which leads me to believe that this storm was especially frightening. The disciples decide to wake Jesus up and pointedly ask Him, “don’t you care if we drown” (Mark 4:38b)?

     Does Jesus care if we drown? Of course Jesus cares if we drown! The disciples may have been using the noun “we” in regard to just themselves but when they ask, “don’t you care if we drown?,” they must recognize that Jesus was included in that “we” as well. Jesus was in the boat with them! There was never a moment when Jesus panicked, we read that the disciples had to wake Him up. The passage culminates with Jesus telling the waves to be still and the disciples asking themselves who Jesus is, that the “wind and the waves obey Him” (Mark 4:41). Jesus was in the midst of their fear, the midst of their anxiety, the midst of their terror. He did not abandon them during this time.

     However, it is something we must acknowledge that if the “wind and the waves obey Him” in being calmed, Jesus also had the power and authority to stir them up. There are going to be times in your life where your faith is tested. We are not promised easy lives in Scripture, in fact the opposite is guaranteed. In John 15:19, Jesus tells His disciples, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

     Jesus does not promise us ease or comfort. I challenged our youth with this message a few months ago and leave it with you now; if you are seeking comfort above obedience, you are missing the picture of what Christ called us to. He calls the disciples to “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow [Him]” (Matthew 16:24). Denying yourself is not an easy thing to do but we are called to forfeit our comfort. The disciples on the boat were terrified but they were also obedient. Do not mistake that obedience to the Lord can lead you into some terrifying places but Christ will be alongside you when you seek Him.