Shaking Jesus from His slumber, the disciples cry out, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:37-38). These seasoned sailors would have battled many raging storms in the Sea of Galilee. Being nearly seven hundred feet below sea level and sandwiched between valleys on one side and mountain ranges on the other, the sea is vulnerable to violent windstorms due to colliding warm and cold air. Nevertheless, these experienced fishermen feared for their lives, giving us a dramatic picture of the intensity of this particular storm.
Becoming Fishers of Men
Just a few chapters earlier, in Mark 1:17, Jesus promised to make His disciples “fishers of men.” However, He never promised that following Him would be easy—as His disciples are beginning to discover. Successful fishing often involves weather forecasting, charting a course, a strong boat, proper tools and supplies, and a capable crew, to name just a few. Fishing for people, however, is going to look quite different. As these disciples are beginning to realize, the command to “go” can come at any time, anywhere. You may not have with you what you think you need for the trip. You may be tired. A storm may be brewing. You may be asked to enter “enemy” territory. In short, all human elements involving control and prediction are removed.
And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He spoke to the disciples, saying, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:39-40).
I love the fact that God designed beautiful and poetic order into our natural world. This would also include what we refer to as the physical laws of cause and effect. For these seasoned fishermen to see Jesus silence the howling wind would be one thing, but to witness the violent churning water becoming instantly calm would be quite another.
Fear and Faith
Consider the rebuke Jesus directs at His disciples. How are fear and faith connected in this passage?
What about you? How are fear and faith connected in your life?
Up to this point in the story, the disciples had witnessed Jesus’s power over disabilities, disease, and even demons. He now displays His authority over creation itself. Immediately at His Word, the winds cease and the raging waters calm. These fishermen were well acquainted with the Sea of Galilee. They knew all there was to know about fishing, boats, and sailing. After all, they were fishermen. But Jesus wanted to make them into something new. That was going to mean seeing things differently and doing things they had never done before.
How might God be calling you to be something new?
Are fears holding you back? How may God be trying to prepare you to move past these fears?
“[He] stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.” —Psalm 65:7 ESV
Adapted from Week Two of my Bible study, LEGION: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me, the second study in my BEHIND THE SEEN series. Copyright © 2019 by Shadia Hrichi. Published by Leafwood Publishers.