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Mark 4:35-41

Mark 4:35-41

Categories:

Series: The Gospel of Mark
Sermon: Jesus, God over Wind and Waves of Our Life
Bible Passage: Mark 4:35-41

I. This short passage has three obvious sections—the word “great” is the marker

– A great storm (4:37)
– A great calm (4:39)
– A great fear (4:41) (earlier they turned “cowardly,” “lacking confidence”)

1. Following Jesus’ daylong ministry, Jesus moves to a different place in the evening
2. This is Jesus’ first recorded trip to a non-Jewish territory (verse 35 “let’s go to the other side)
3. Though Mark does not compare Jesus with Jonah, there seems to have some intentional narrative parallels (cf. Jonah 1:1-16)
4. Jonah appears to be an “anti-type” of Jesus

II. When they were in the middle of the water, an unexpected crisis hit them (verse 37-38)

1. A major (great) violent windstorm came about

a. It came suddenly with no warning
b. The waves buffeted the boat
c. The boat could potentially be drowned

2. In the midst of this crisis, Jesus was sleeping on a cushion in the stern of the boat (verse 38)

a. This is the only place where we read Jesus as sleeping—in the midst of a life-threatening storm!
b. Does it mean that Jesus was unconcerned about the situation?
c. Was it intentional that Jesus was sleeping?

3. Despite their expertise in this water body, the disciples were unable to handle their crisis

a. The disciples were taken by surprise by the suddenness of the storm
b. They sounded desperate and frustrated, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?” (verse 38)
c. Jesus’ question “Why are you cowardly/fearful?” shows that the disciples’ cry to Jesus was not one with confidence (cf. verse 40)

III. Disciples’ request to Jesus and Jesus’ response resembles several Old Testament passages:

1. Psalm 44:23: Awake yourself! Why do you sleep, O Lord? Wake up! Do not reject us forever!
2. Psalm 65:7:  You calm the raging seas and their roaring waves
3. Psalm 89:8: O Lord, sovereign God! Who is strong like you, O Lord? Your faithfulness surrounds you. 89:9 You rule over the proud sea. When its waves surge, you calm them
4. Psalm 106:9: He shouted at the Red Sea and it dried up; he led them through the deep water as if it were a desert
5. Psalm107:29:  He calmed the storm, and the waves grew silent.
6. These passages demonstrate that only God has authority over wind, waves, and oceans

IV. The storm becomes an occasion for Jesus the Teacher to teach His disciples (verses 40-41)

1. By quietening the wind and waves, Jesus teaches two things:

a. that He is sovereign over these natural forces
b. that He is concerned about the wellbeing of His disciples

2. Only God could control wind and waves according to the Old Testament
3. Jesus controls them; therefore, Jesus is God
4. But, Jesus appears to be a stranger to his disciples

a. What is this? 1:27
b. Who is this? 4:41
c. Having witnessed exorcisms, healing of the leper, paralytic, and the man with withered hands, the disciples should have understood who Jesus is

V. Situations like this one demonstrates the integrity of the believers

1. Jesus prefers His disciples to have faith over fear
2. The content of their faith Jesus needs to be:

a. Jesus is sovereign over wind and waves (the person of Jesus)
b. Jesus is not indifferent to the suffering of his followers

Take Away:

Replace your fear with faith in Jesus who is in your boat

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org