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!” ~ Mark 4:37-41 (NIV)
The disciples supposed that Jesus did not care if they drowned! They did not trust his love for them, nor did they have faith in his power to control wind and wave. Jesus exposes their lack of faith, “Why are you so afraid?”
Jesus exposes our lack of faith with the same question, “Why are we so afraid?” Has Jesus left our “boat”? Do we think that he is sleeping through the problems and troubles of our lives? Do we think that he just doesn’t care? Do we think that he cannot stand up in the middle of danger and disaster and say, “Be calm and be still!” Think about hurricanes and tornadoes, floods and fires, wars and plagues, drought and disease. Even death! Do we think that he is uncaring and powerless to rescue us from everything that threatens us?
Yet there he is with his disciples in that boat on the lake in the middle of the storm. Only that man sleeping on a pillow in back of the boat actually believed that God would take care of him. Only that man sleeping in back of the boat knew the right time to stand. Only that man could speak words filled with such power that the sea became calm mid-crest and the winds stopped howling. Perfect calm!
Now in that boat on that lake right after the storm, the men believed that Jesus possessed infinite power, eternal might. He actually did control the wind and the waves!
This miracle helped the disciples learn the answer to the question, “Who is this Jesus?” “Even the wind and waves obey him.” This miracle displayed Jesus’ infinite power. This miracle teaches us how to respond to Jesus. We join the wind and waves in obeying his every word.
But this miracle also rebukes us when our weak faith wonders, “Does Jesus care?” This miracle demonstrates the boundless, limitless and infinite love of Jesus. The quieted winds and the calmed waves testify, “Yes, he cares for you!”
Dear Lord Jesus, come and stand in our “boat”. Ride with us through the storms of life. Help us wait patiently when you seem to sleep. Help us worship joyfully when you rise to save. Amen.