Cody Welch, one of my former church members and friends, was going to ride his bicycle across the road to his cousin’s house. When he crossed the road, he didn’t see a car coming, which struck him. His aunt across the road called 911 and then me, his pastor. When I got there his mother was holding his limp body in her arms crying frantically out to God. I watched him medevac’d to Chapel Hill. Storms can suddenly devastate our lives.
1. Storms Sometimes Arise When We Obey (4:35) See Part 1
2. Storms Can Suddenly Arise (4:36-37)
Jesus’ disciples were professional fishermen and did not expect this storm
Mark mentions that there were also with him other little ships who were following Jesus and were not expecting the storm. These seasoned fishermen were totally caught off guard.
One company recently told its employees that they were fired. The management waited until the last day the business was open. Without even a day’s notice they were out of a job.
These professional fishermen were caught off guard by a furious storm
Mark sounds like a meteorologist for the National Hurricane Center reporting severe storms (4:37).
1. “A great storm of wind” so great those veteran fishermen were scared for their lives.
2. “The waves beat into the ship.” Each powerful wave almost capsizes the ship.
3. “So that the boat was now filling.” The disciples are bailing water as fast as they can but to no avail.
How is the weather where you live? Is it storming today? Has life let you down? Are you ready to give up? Let Jesus’ miracle encourage you.
3. Storms Can Draw Out Our Unbelief (4:38-40)
While Jesus sleeps, His disciples panic
The contrast in verse 38 is telling. “He” is sleeping. “They” address Him as “Teacher” not “Savior” or “Lord.” They wanted Him to give them a cram course in “Search and Rescue.” Next the disciples question, with resentment and unbelief, His care for them.
Are you resting in God or panicking in your storm? Are you following the example of Christ or His frightful followers?
Jesus is fully man who was exhausted from a hard day’s work
Even though soaked to the bone, He sleeps while the boat is rocked by pounding waves, with buckets of salt water splashing in His face and the disciple shouting orders to one another.
While Jesus is fully man and exhausted, He is also Almighty God who can miraculously calm a raging storm (39). While He is unconscious to the storm around Him as man, He omniscient of His plan to train His disciples. Jesus is the God/Man. Only God could perform this kind of miracle with nature as the OT clearly acknowledged as in Psalm 107:23-32. Mark may have written with this passage in mind.
As Man He can be your sympathizing High Priest. As omnipotent Creator/God, He can sustain you in your storm.
Jesus rebukes the sea as if it were a person
“His authority is asserted in strikingly anthropomorphic commands, in that he ‘rebukes’ the wind as if it were an animate being, and addresses the lake as if it were an unruly heckler, ‘Be quiet! Shut up!’” (R. T. France. NIGTC, page 224).
Jesus rebuked nature because the storm may have been a demonic attack on the disciples who were about to invade Gentile territory (the mission field) and set free one of Satan’s bound slave.
The rebuke “Peace be still” are the same words Jesus spoke to a demon-possessed man in 1:25 and 3:12
Right after Jesus commanded the demons in 3:12 Jesus ordained His disciples to preach the gospel and cast out demons (3:13-15). Next the Pharisees accuse Jesus of healing in the power of Satan.
Then Jesus taught His disciples that they were to spread the gospel seed and expect Satanic opposition (4:15). So here is their first test. Donald Sunukjian really develops this thought in Invitation to Biblical Preaching on pages 31-41).
Jesus is not only more powerful than any storm but any demonic or Satanic attack on your life. Satan wants us as a church not to invade the strong man’s house, Satan’s domain, and set free the slaves with the gospel. But “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 Jo 4:4).
Then Jesus rebuked the disciples (40)
Jesus rebuked their fear and then their lack of faith. Because their fear was a result of the lack of faith. Jesus in His sermon on the mount commanded three times “Stop worrying” in Matthew 6:25-34. He also said “O you of little faith.” We can’t worry and trust God at the same time. Neither can we fear man or circumstances and trust God at the same time.
We should not doubt our Lord in the storms of life
He did not promise an easy voyage but a successful one. In Paul’s storm in Acts 27, an angel promised him all would be saved. He assured the crew, “There shall be no loss of any man’s life among you.” But then he added, “Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island.” He promised a safe trip not an easy trip. Paul also testified, “Be of good cheer: I believe God that it shall be as it was told me.”
Jesus promised in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” He never guaranteed no Satanic attacks.
The disciple could not have known at this point who was in the boat with them or they would not have doubted His promise. Was the boat going to sink when the Creator of the Universe in it?
Have we forgotten, if we know Jesus Christ as Savior, He is not only with us, He is in us. “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 2:27).