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In times of trial, one of the most treasured passages in scripture is of Jesus calming the storm while out to sea with the disciples. Falling asleep, Jesus is awoken by disciples who are not only fearful of the storm, but disturbed by Jesus’ apparent lack of care for them. Into this chaos Jesus rebukes the wind and waves, causing them to immediately cease.
This passage is the first of three stories in Mark that underscore Jesus’ power. Here, Jesus reveals his dominion over his creation, calming the storm. In Mark 5:1-21, Jesus casts a demon out of a man, revealing his dominion over the spiritual forces at work in the world.
Finally, in Mark 5:22-43, Jesus heals a woman and servant of a chronic illness and death, respectively, revealing his dominion over even disease and death.
In all, Mark reminds us that during seasons of trial and opposition, there is nothing that is beyond the power of Jesus.
This is a hard lesson to remember when we are in the midst of storms, facing opposition, or dealing with illness or possible death. Yet how we react in the storm speaks to how well we understand who Jesus is and how he cares for us.
Jesus rebukes the disciples because they don’t grasp these two points. They don’t know who he is as the creator and ruler of the universe, fearing the storm is greater than he is. They also don’t trust that he cares for them, going so far as to ask, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”
As we try to navigate difficult seasons, we must continually refresh our faith in the answers to these two questions. Jesus is the lord of the universe, the second member of the trinity, to whom all dominion and power has been given. He is also our savior who endures with and has given to us his Spirit.
How are you responding to God as you are walking through this difficult time? Do you see him as asleep? Unaware, unable, and uncaring of your situation?
Recognize that those who don’t know Jesus are like the disciples in the boat: fearful and uncertain. How can you share how Jesus has provided calmness in your life in the midst of the storm?