“And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you no faith?’” - Mark 4:39-40
As a woman of many, many words, I am amazed by how much Jesus conveys with this simple, direct statement: “Peace! Be still!” (Mark4:39). The Son of God had complete control over the natural realm. He did not need words to quiet the raging winds and seas; he spoke aloud for the benefit of his disciples. He was commanding twelve frightened men, as well as the wind and the waves, to be calm. The difference is the disciples had a choice about whether to obey. They could continue to panic and fret, as they had done so far, or they could trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Jesus reprimanded the disciples for abandoning their faith and giving in to their fear. Despite all they had seen and experienced during their time with him, they still did not truly believe. They focused on the strength of the storm, rather than the infinitely greater power of the Lord among them. If he could heal the sick, could he not quell a storm? If he could drive out demons, could he not overcome every other force in this world? Jesus called the disciples to remember his mighty works from the past and anticipate all he would do in the future. He reassured them even as he rebuked them: “Peace! Be still!”
Earlier this week, we wondered who could sleep through such a powerful tempest. The answer is only the one who controlled it. Jesus called the disciples to trust in the power and love of the Son of God. He alone was worthy of their fear and their faith. He alone could save them from this storm and the many others that would follow.
Jesus is still in the business of calming storms. He still has authority over the wind and waves, over elections, viruses, and wars. We too are invited to choose faith over fear, to recall his saving work in the past, and to trust him with our present and future. Will you focus on his faithfulness or your fear?
Reflect and Respond:
Storms are inevitable in this life, but Jesus is our present help and shield through them all (Psalm 46:1). How can you turn from fear to embrace faith? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the Living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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