“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?’” - Mark 4:41
Imagine you are enjoying a relaxing day at sea. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, and you are surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. The presence of close friends makes the experience even richer as you share stories, laughter, and fellowship. What an ideal day! Until dark clouds begin to gather, the wind starts to howl, and the once-calm water turns choppy. Waves crash into the boat, filling it, and you are suddenly in danger of sinking!
Jesus and the disciples experienced just such a day. After a glorious time of ministry, they set out for the other side of the Sea of Galilee. New people and new ministry opportunities awaited them there. Within a few minutes, however, the disciples’ joy and anticipation were replaced by alarm and anxiety. They were terrified of the devastating storm, of the churning sea, and of impending death. Consumed by fear, they woke Jesus with a somewhat accusatory question: “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38).
With just three words, Jesus changed everything. The storm vanished as quickly as it appeared, and peace returned to the Sea of Galilee. Not only was there a shift in the weather but in the disciples as well. They moved away from fear of the storm and into fear of the one who had just calmed it. Healthy fear replaced unhealthy fear. As the author of all creation, Jesus was never out of control. He longed for the disciples to understand that his presence changed everything. He would provide all they needed to endure and overcome any storm, literal or figurative. Jesus was building their faith in who he is and what he can do, preparing them for continued ministry after he ascended to the Father.
Lessons of faith for the disciples are always lessons for us. We too are called to shift our focus and our fear from the storms of this life to the one who has complete authority in heaven and earth. We too are to ask ourselves, “Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41). The answer is Jesus. The creator God. Our Savior. Our friend. The one who is present in every trial and assures us of the final victory. Through his death on the cross, Jesus overcame sin, death, Satan, and every evil force in this world. Through him, we also overcome. Paul wrote that we are not only overcomers through Christ, but we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). If we are to live into this victory, we must choose faith over fear.
Reflect and Respond:
How can you surrender your fear to the Lord today? 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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