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Recognizing Who's On Board
By Dr. Samuel Galloza
In the Gospel of Mark 4:35-41, there is told the account of a voyage that Jesus and the disciples had taken in a boat. But before we get into the account itself I would like to first prepare you to view this passage with a clear understanding of what actually occurred by providing some facts ahead of time.
Jesus had been teaching by the sea. For the most part, the majority of the disciples had spent most of their lives working as fishermen, with an understanding of the common practices and procedures required to survive at sea. This was their profession. They understood the elements and what was required to deal with sudden shifts of the wind, and rough seas when caught in storms while fishing off the coast.
Now these same disciples had left their professions in order to follow the Master. They had witnessed healings and great teachings on the part of Jesus. They had witnessed the masses of people come to hear the Lord speak. They had been chosen by the Lord himself. What honor they must of felt as they now traveled, ate, slept, and had intimate personal access to the One that had created such a stir in their region.
Now that we have a mindset of the disciples and their experience we can look at the account of the sea voyage ordered by Christ Himself.
Now the passage indicates that evening had come when Jesus said to them "Let us cross over to the other side." Now Jesus had been taken to a boat and as they launched, it indicates that there was other little boats with them. And a great windstorm arose. Now we need to address the fact that it was a windstorm. As indicated before, the disciple where experienced fishermen who knew the sea, and had they witnessed signs of an approaching storm they would had resisted due to their experience. But a windstorm is unseen. It was undetectable at the time of their launch for, who can see the wind?
The account continues that the waves began to beat on the boat, and the boat began to take on water. Now we must observe the fact that this was a bigger boat than those that were following them. For if we go back to the beginning, it indicates that there where other little boats with them. Now if this storm was beating on the bigger boat, the smaller boats were definitely in bigger trouble. It is quite possible that the screams and panic from the small boats were observed by the boat in which the disciples and Jesus were traveling. Panic and fear can be contagious. Let's understand fear a little.
Psychologist think of fear as being comprised of four main components: the subjective experience of apprehension, associated physiological changes, outward expressions of fear, and attempts to avoid or escape certain situations. It is possible for people to experience subjective fear yet remain outwardly calm. As we review the experience of the disciples and the smaller boats with them, all four components were evidently present as the windstorm raged with an attempt to take their lives. Now in comparison, as we continue observing the situation, Jesus was asleep in the stern of the boat. The situation had gone completely out of the control of this experienced fishermen, and in the midst of the panic, they observed Peace in the stern of the boat.
Now Jesus is awaken and questioned as to the His lack of concern with regards to the situation and the peril of loosing their lives. Here was the man whom they had agreed to follow, who had taught them with regards to the Kingdom of God. Now they found themselves questioning Jesus' loyalty and responsibility to them.
Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea and their was a calm. Now when it had become immediately calm, He turns to them and said to them, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"
Can you envision their faces. They were wet, breathing hard, possibly hearing the moaning of those around them that had been totally overtaken by fear. They knew that their experience at sea was not sufficient to save them from this storm and that death was sure if the situation continued. And now they hear Jesus ask them, "Why are you so fearful?" And faith, what does that have to do with our survival at sea? I can almost hear their wispers. Yet the Word says that they now feared exceedingly, saying to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!"
Amazing. They feared more what they did not understand, than the possibility of perishing at sea.
Our walk with God requires that we understand who we walk with. It was their lack of understanding that caused them unnecessary fear. Had they recognized that if Jesus had indicated their need to go to the other side, they would had made it to the other side. Had they recognized that faith provides authority over the circumstances, they would not had lost all hope.
In order to experience hope, there must be faith. But, in order to experience faith, there must be understanding. God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6)
Know who you are, who walks with you, and your faith will provide hope, which in turn will provide peace. Peace be still...
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