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Duration:24 mins 8 secs

Introduction

Jesus Calms the Storm

Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?”

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was
completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Mark moves from Parables to Miracles. Both show us the kingdom of God coming in Jesus but in different ways.

  • Parables are familiar popular illustrate stories.
  • Miracles are historical and actual events. They actually happened. They are not allegories. Miracles are visible portrayals of the kingdom of God and a foretaste of heaven.

There are 3 words used to describe Jesus miracles:

  • Miracles - works of power.
  • Signs - pointers that embody truth.
  • Wonders - demand a response; amazement; glory to God.

Combined they represent the presence of God. There is nothing weird about miracles. They involve God
restoring a broken creation - reversing the consequences of sin.

  • God restoring the good that He originally intended for His creation.

Miracles are meant to draw our attention not to themselves but to the One who is performing the miracle.

Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

1. Jesus sovereignly leads the way

Mark 4:35 That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.

The whole thing was orchestrated by Jesus...... He said to His disciples...... He is fully aware of what is about to happen and yet He still goes ahead. The facts bear testimony to an ‘eyewitness’ account:

  • When evening came.
  • Let’s go over to the other side.
  • There were also other boats.

The voyage across the lake was undertaken in obedience to Jesus’ invitation.

The disciples respond in unquestioning faith ...... they took Him along .....

But why does Jesus allow them to enter such a situation?

2. It was a life threatening storm

Mark 4:37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 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?”

Because of where it was situated storms could arise very quickly on the Sea of Galilee.

Mark’s focus is on the force of the storm and its effects on the boat. He calls it a ‘mega’ storm.

Mark 4:37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.

The disciples were hardened seasoned fishermen and yet they were afraid. This is what they did for a living. And yet here they are panicking. They had seen and experienced many storms, they had been around the lake many times, and yet this storm felt as though it was the end. They were sure they were perishing!

Mark 4:38 The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

3. Jesus sleeps through the storm

Mark 4:38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

This, for the disciples, made the storm all the harder to understand, and the calm attitude of Jesus quite inexplicable to them.

How in the world was Jesus sleeping in the first place? It’s hard to sleep in a boat - it’s hard to sleep in a boat, cramped up with people, it’s hard to sleep during a thunderstorm, but Jesus managed to sleep through all three things.

Mark 4:38 The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

The disciples' seem to be rebuking Jesus rather than asking for help: 'Teacher; don't you care if we drown?’.

  • In Mathews Gospel, they say, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing.”
  • In Luke’s account, “Master, Master, we are perishing.” In those accounts, it sounds like more of a cry for help.

But here in Mark you get the sense that the question is also a rebuke.

  • “Teacher, rabbi, what are you doing?
  • Don’t you see that the world is crashing in around us?
  • Don’t you care?
  • Aren’t you concerned?
  • Why don’t you do something?”

The disciples are frightened by the storm and seem upset with Jesus’ apparent lack of concern for their well-being.

4. The calming of the storm by Jesus with just three words (v.39) is more than an impressive miracle

Mark 4:39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Jesus immediately responds and by speaking only 3 words “Quiet! Be still!” and the storm ceases.

He uses the same language here that He uses elsewhere when He rebukes demons. He rebuked the wind and told the waves to be quiet and still.

The raging sea in the OT was always a symbol of chaos and the forces opposing God (Jonah 1:4, 15ff).

Creation and water (Holman Christian Standard Bible Translation)

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit
of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.

6 Then God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters, separating water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above the expanse. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” Evening came and then morning: the second day.

9 Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land “earth,” and He called the gathering of the water “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

God created the waters, He created the sea and He controls the sea.

Proverbs 8:27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

Psalm 89:8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.

Psalm 104:5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.

Raging seas and storms symbolize the trials of the righteous and only God could help because only He controlled the seas (Psalm 46:1-3).

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

5. This passage ends with 3 questions - 2 from Jesus and 1 from the disciples

Mark 4:40a He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?
Mark 4:40b Do you still have no faith?”

Jesus’ response indicates that He does care and that He can help.

The disciples had filled with fear.

Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

This is Mark’s main point: Who is Jesus?

What Jesus does only God can do.

In the Old Testament God alone is the One has the power who to calm the storm and raging sea.

Psalm 107:23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

In this miracle Mark informs us that the same power that belongs to God belongs to Jesus.

It’s the same type of question asked by the teachers of the law asked:

Mark 2:7 “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Conclusion

So of all the million questions we might have today, the disciples remind us of the most important one: Who is Jesus Christ: Who is the Person that even the wind and the waves obey Him?

  • Mark wants us to see who Jesus is so we won’t be afraid.
  • Mark wants us to see who Jesus is so we will put our faith and trust in Him.

This miracle is not primarily about the storm. It’s about the One who calms the storm. It’s about the One
whom the wind and the waves obey.

Storms will come and go and what we need most of all is to be sure that we not fear but always place our faith firmly in Jesus Christ because He has authority and power to defeat our greatest enemies. He is enough whether life’s seas are running smoothly or not.

This passage is not a promise that God will calm every storm in life today.

It is a promise that when we go through storms, Christ is with us and we need not fear but have faith in His purposes.

It is also an anticipation that one day in the future Christ will calm every storm because He is Lord of Creation.

Jesus has come to establish a new world. It gives us a concrete example of what that world will be like.

2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

The disciples didn’t fully understand Jesus at this point. But it would become clearer as they grew in their knowledge of Him and especially in the light of His death, resurrection and ascension.

John 20:30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Mark records this miracle so we can know, love and grow in our faith, trust and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.