Mark 4:35–41 (ESV)
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, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
What I think Mark is saying THEN/WHY:
A. Jesus’ mighty acts reveal a faith misplaced in Israel. His acts of wonder and awe are many but true faith is rare. B. Israel’s blindness prophesied / anticipated: Isaiah 6:9, Matthew 13:11-17, Acts 28:24-28, Romans 11:7-8
What I think Mark is saying NOW:
Our fears reveal the location of our faith.
- How I think what Mark is saying applies to our lives today:
- Skeptic: There is more that matters than just matter. A Miracle could be defined as “An event that strengthens faith.” One might not see miracles because they have exchanged faith for certainty. They might not be willing to place their certainty in anything other than what they can experience or explain rationally. David Hume believed A Miracle is a violation natural laws and assumed that it was impossible. But David Hume does not help us with Human Nature… C.S. Lewis says “The Law of Human Nature, or of Right and Wrong, must be something above and beyond the actual facts of human behaviour… Supposing science ever became complete so that it knew every single thing in the whole universe. Is it not plain that the questions, ‘Why is there a universe?’ ‘Why does it go on as it does?’ ‘Has it any meaning?’ would remain just as they were?” Jesus is not just playing with matter here just because he can. He is using matter to reach the hearts of the disciples and work miracles of faith in the human heart.
- Christians: God did not make you, save you, love you and die for you to leave you. Whatever you do whoever you are in Christ God has not forgotten you… the men on the boat where fisherman afraid of a storm. In order for Jesus to get the disciples to the place where they can effectively minister to others he must first get them over themselves and their blinding fears.
- Church: If we are the body of Christ what are we afraid of? Our God is not afraid of certain kinds of people, problems and issues.
- Christ: His word spoke the cosmos into being, called the disciples to himself and stopped a storm. What does His word do in your life?
Monday: Isaiah 8:13 (The Message) 13 If you’re going to worry, worry about The Holy. Fear God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
The essence of fear is reverential respect. Because of the fall (Genesis 3) humans are riddled with both guilt and fear of God. They were never made to go together in the heart of God’s image bearers. Question: If God can remove the guilt in our hearts by his loving kindness and grace (Jesus person and work) how does that change our fear of him? Question: How should we respond to Jesus in light of our guilt and fear? Question: If our fears can reveal the location of our faith what do you find are your greatest fears?
Tuesday: Question: What does Hebrews12:28 teach us about grace and serving God in relation to reverence for Him? Question: What is the difference in serving God and serving Him acceptably?
Wednesday: Read Psalm 8. Question: How does God use matter or the physical world to reach your heart today and strengthen you faith?
Thursday: Read Mark 4:35-6:6. Question: How is Jesus showing Israel that The Kingdom of God is here and the powers on!
Friday: Read Mark 5:1–20
1. What do you think Mark is saying in Mark 5:1–20 THEN?
2. What do you think Mark is saying Mark 5:1–20 NOW (TODAY)?
3. How do you think what Mark is saying APPLIES to our lives today:
Saturday: Question: In your opinion does Mark 5:1-20 (This coming Sunday’s passage) counter one or more of these false contemporary worldviews?
• Individualism — the false story that “I” am the center of the universe
• Consumerism — the false story that I am what I own
• Nationalism — the false story that my nation is God’s nation
• Moral relativism — the false story that we can’t know what is universally good
• Scientific Naturalism — the false story that all that matters is matter
• New Age — the false story that we are gods
• Postmodern tribalism — the false story that all that matters is what my small group thinks
• Salvation by therapy — the false story that I can come to my full human potential through inner exploration
• Moralism— the false belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior
• Traditionalism — Adherence to tradition, especially in cultural or religious practice. Or a system holding that all knowledge is derived from original divine revelation and is transmitted by tradition.