Mark 4:35-41 – The Disciples’ First Test (pt. 4)

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Mark 4:35-41 –

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

IV. A Definitive Answer (v. 39)

In verse38 the disciples responded to the storm by questions Jesus.  Now, in verse 39, Jesus is going to respond to this questioning with a definitive answer.  Mark tells us that “He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be Still!’  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”  Can you imagine this scene?  The disciples are frantic, the sea is raging, the boat is sinking, and Jesus calmly gets up and rebukes the storm.  He said “be quiet,” and the storm became quiet!  Some say that this was a coincidence, or that Jesus simply recognized when the storm was ending.  But this can’t be.  This had to be a miracle, because the wind and the waves both stopped at the same time.  This doesn’t just happen on its own.  A normal wind storm may die down quickly, but the high seas always linger for some time after the storm.  Not so here.  Everything goes quiet, and the water is still.  This is a real miracle, and it reveals the divine nature of Jesus.  Earlier we saw that as a man Jesus needed sleep, but here we see that as God Jesus can control nature.  Just as God spoke the world into existence, so too Jesus was able to control the sea simply with the sound of His voice.  Colossians 1:15-17 describes Jesus’ power in this way:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

This account in Mark certainly confirms what Colossians 1 teaches about Jesus, and His divine nature.  Jesus makes it clear that He is all-powerful, and by the way, He does care for the disciples.

Can you imagine how the disciples felt when Jesus calmed the storm?  They had been questioning Jesus, and in the end Jesus was the one who saved them.  In light of Jesus’ actions it is clear the disciples responded foolishly.  And as we go through storms in our own lives how many times do we also response foolishly?  How often do we doubt Jesus, and forget about His control over our lives?  This is certainly what the disciples did by questioning Jesus.  But Jesus provided a definitive answer by performing this miracle.  He showed that we should trust him no matter how bad the storm seems.  Furthermore, in verse 40 Jesus gave his disciples an appropriate rebuke for not trusting Him.