Today’s reading was Mark 4:35-41 about Jesus calming the storm:
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!”
Many aspects of this story are well known, and the little details sprinkled throughout the narrative strongly suggest that it is an historically accurate eyewitness account.
(I preached a sermon on this, and the following passage about the demon-possessed man a few months ago here at Central, and if you missed it, you can hear it here: http://www.centralsj.org/media.php?pageID=61. Scroll down to 2/23/14: Power. It starts with Roger Edrington’s introduction of me to the congregation, but my actual sermon begins at 2:55)
The part which struck me this morning was verse 40, where Jesus asks, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Clearly, he has an expectation of more mature faith in them than they are currently exhibiting. So far, they have seen him heal the sick and cast out demons, but this is the first nature miracle they have witnessed. I don’t know why they can trust him for healing and demon casting out, but not the wind and waves. Perhaps the magnitude of nature overwhelms them, and they are stunned that Jesus can even have authority over that level of chaos.
At a certain level, Jesus is putting things in order, the way he wants them to be. The wind and the waves need to behave themselves. The demons need to acknowledge his authority and flee. The sicknesses need to undergo molecular rearrangement and be healed. Any why not? The author of all creation can move molecules wherever he wants them. He designed the operating hardware of the physical world, so he is quite able to make changes as he wishes.
So, what I’m thinking this morning is this: is there anything out of order in me, that Jesus wants to rearrange? My thinking? My priorities? The way I spend my time? The way I conduct my relationships?
And secondly, do I need to trust him more than I do?The disciples had limits. Healings and exorcisms? Yes. Wild storms? No. Perhaps the perfect song to express this desire for greater trusting, beyond limits, beyond borders is Oceans (Where Feet May Fail). Perhaps listen to this, and then pray a sincere prayer to God, offering him those areas where you find it hard to trust him.