A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Pastor Jim Shields
I’ve been let down a lot in my life. Vacations never seem to measure up to my full expectations. I can remember waiting for Christmas morning as a little guy: We would rush to a tree that seemed to birth an endless array of gifts and tear though these like starving animals, giving no time for reflection beyond a hurried thank you while tearing paper and ribbons from the next acquisition…Then would come the yearly internal lament…is that all there is?
People often let us down as well. Mostly they don’t mean to, I suppose. They say they won’t leave you, that you can count on them. But they often leave, and they often don’t do what they say. People are a mess. I know this because I am “a people” too.
I think this condition is what the shipmates of Jesus were expressing in this section of Mark. “Teacher” they say, “do you not care?” Better to claim Him “teacher” than “Son of God.” That way, if they don’t survive the storm, they have not committed themselves to the disappointment of Jesus’ not being who He has claimed Himself to be.
Having faith in a ”teacher” lowers the bar of expectation considerably. A teacher explains things but he doesn’t change things. In this case, an explanation of the dynamics of how the boat has been built to weather a storm would work. Having faith in God is another matter entirely. God can calm the storm, and even if He chooses not to, you are safe in the journey just standing next to Him.
This Lenten season would be a great time to ask Jesus the same question they asked 2000 years ago, “Who can this be…?” Jesus came not only for us to believe in His teaching, but to believe in His desire for an intimate relationship with you and with me. Have faith: He will never leave you, and He always does for you what He says He will. We are always safe by His side.
Jesus, thank You for keeping Your promises. Help me to grow in faith and trust as I walk with You each day.