Monday, February 13th. 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 behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”  Mark 4:35-41


Strangely enough, I’m seeing this text differently today than I’ve seen it before.


Usually we see the disciples clinging to the ropes of a storm tossed ship, thunder and lighting, great sheets of rain, and Jesus sleeping contentedly in the back of the boat.  With an utter lack of deference, the disciples scream at Jesus – do you not care that we are perishing?  Then Jesus, with a quick word and a snap of his fingers, stills the winds and the waves.


Seen in this light, it is a wonderfully encouraging story.  It tells us that Jesus can do anything.  That, regardless of the storms of our lives, regardless how small our boat is on the vast sea, Jesus can handle it for us.  It is a scene that inspires painters and hymn writers. 


But today, being Monday and all, I’m seeing this story differently.  I’m noticing that Jesus is a carpenter, perhaps he builds boats but he doesn’t normally captain them.  Among his disciples are fishermen, men with experience on boats in any kind of weather.  This seems a scene where Peter would stand up – Don’t worry Jesus, we can handle this.  But that isn’t what happens.


What do they expect Jesus to do as they wake him up?  Maybe they don’t expect him to do anything.  Maybe they just want to make sure that, if the boat goes down, he knows what is going on and will be able to cling to the wreckage with them.


As it turns out, to the amazement of the disciples, Jesus handles the storm.  And then the story turns back on to us and it asks questions that I haven’t noticed before.


Do we still believe that Jesus can make a difference in the storms of our lives?  Are we willing then to speak up, to reach out in prayer, when it seems like Jesus is sleeping through our hard times?


Let us pray:  Dear Lord, life turns stormy for us when we least expect it.  We pray today for those whose boats are swamped, who feel overwhelmed by life.  We pray that we might sense you in the boat with us, that you might hear our cries for help and respond with peace and power.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


2 Responses to “Monday, February 13th. Mark 4:35-41”

  1. Melanie Says:

    You’ve led me to see this in a different light as well. I think the disciples were waking Jesus up in concern for his safety. Because they were “amazed’ that he calmed the sea. They still didn’t know who this man was even though they’d been spending night and day with him. How many of us still don’t “know” what Jesus has done and can do for us?

  2. Terry Beloncik Says:

    Bravo! I love your “new look” at the storm story. I like the idea that the disciples were the “experienced’ sailors, and that Jesus didn’t “sail the boat better,” he just fixed the storm. Keep sending us nuggets. Blessings!!!

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