June 24, 2018

Mark 4:35-41

“Why Are You Afraid (No, really, why?)?

Imagine a wind so strong that it makes waves big enough to scare commercial fishermen.  Mark says that they thought they were dying.  To make matters worse, Jesus seems unaware or unconcerned.

How about our lives?  Have you ever been in a situation so terrifying that it seemed as awful as a wave big enough to scare a fisherman?

Notice that Jesus didn’t suggest that the wind wasn’t strong or that the waves weren’t big.  It was.  They were. Jesus asks the disciples about their faith in the midst of this adversity.  It’s important that we understand that faith doesn’t mean our problems aren’t real.  They are.  Faith asks where we’ll turn and whom we’ll trust to get through it.  Jesus’ presence and power must’ve been overwhelmingly strong for his earliest followers for them to have told a story like this.  They proclaimed that faithful discipleship could weather any storm.  And they knew about storms: Jesus’ crucifixion, their own experiences of persecution, and by the time the gospels were written – war and destruction.  Through it all, scared as they were, they trusted that God would see them through.

What if we had trust like that?  How can our faith grow?  What part will we play?  Notice that the disciples, some of whom no doubt were able boatmen, turned to Jesus when the wind and waves were terrifying.  What might that look like for us?  What good is trust in Jesus during times of real struggle?