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Saturday, January 2, 2010

1/3/10 Mark 4:35-41 Calming our Storms

1/3/10 Mark 4:35-41 (Parallel passage=pp= Mt 8:18, 23-27; Lk 8:22-25) Calming the Storm

[Left Rembrandt 1633- Christ stills the storm)

35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?" 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" 41 They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Calvin abridged: Jesus was crossing the lake in a boat with his disciples, and other little boats were with him. The storm was not accidental. But he intended to make known to the apostles how weak their faith was. Christ’s sleep was natural, but it made the disciples aware of their weakness. Yet his divinity watched over him so that the apostles had no reason to fear that assistance could not be obtained from heaven. So let us trust God n the trials of our faith knowing that if distresses almost overwhelm us- the Lord designs it to increase our patience, or to show us our weakness. They woke Jesus up because they felt he would not assist them unless he was awake. They asked him, which was proof of their faith, but they did not believe he would help them without waking. Their alarm goes beyond its proper bounds. Not every kind of fear opposes faith. If we fear nothing, a false and fleshly security comes upon us. Mark relates that he commanded the elements by his voice. They cried out in fear, “Who is this?” This miracle made an impression on their minds that they revered and glorified him.

Thoughts: I have been on the Sea of Galilee. One minute it is peaceful, but the next the winds whip down from the mountains and white caps are everywhere. In our lives, one minute we may think we are secure and all is calm (all is bright), but the next minute we feel we are cursed with a plethora of problems. I can still remember September 11, 2001. It was a beautiful blue sky day across the eastern United States. The economy and country was doing well, and it seemed like all was right with the world. But all that changed in an instant. The storms of our lives come- and we may have our Jesus back in the back of the boat. We may have been ignoring him before the storm, but when it strikes, we seek him desperately. In the end, our faith is too small. We lack the peace we know we ought to have.

Prayer: In our storms, Lord, wake up and help us. Despite our small faith and our fear, pour your grace upon us- be our refuge and strength.

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