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Daily Bible Readings

Don't Be Afraid, Jesus Is Here to Save Us

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

[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?”

Mark 4:35–41 ESV Read More

Jesus has been with the disciples now in all kinds of situations. He has shown them that He has power over sickness. He can heal people sick from germs or injury. He has power over demons. He can cast out demons from people and heal them in that way. He has power and authority to forgive sin. The Pharisees were right that only God can forgive sin, but they couldn’t handle the reality that Jesus was God. 

Finally, the most hopelessly out of control thing in the world: weather. 

The sea of Galillee was (and is) a big lake. To go across would be about 8 miles. Many superstitions surrounded the lake, and people were especially afraid to be out on it at night. We take the Red Cross for granted today, but in Jesus’ day, there weren’t a lot of people that knew how to swim and life jackets were unheard of. At the same time, the Sea of Galillee provided unpredictable weather and storms that would come up without much warning due to the geography. 

During the storm, Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat. One commentator drew attention to the fact that Jesus was so tired, He could sleep through a storm. That shows how exhausted AND at rest Jesus was on this ride across the sea. As Jesus is sleeping back there, the men in the boats (there were other boats! The movies never show that.) were struggling to keep the boats from sinking. As waves come over the side, all of the fishing gear and all of the passengers start being weighed down with water, and the boat starts to fill up too. 

There is so much packed into the way the disciples wake Jesus up. It’s not a sterile “We are sinking,” or even “Can you help us out here?” but instead it’s “Don’t you care?” It’s one of those rhetorical questions that is really making the statement “You don’t care about us dying here, Jesus!” 

Jesus wakes and calms the wind and the waves, and says something really weird. “Why were you afraid? Do you still not have faith?” It’s not that the disciples were afraid of dying, they were afraid that Jesus didn’t care. That’s what they said when the woke Him up. That’s what came out when they were under pressure. Jesus asks if they have faith here in the fact that He is thoroughly taking care of them. 

In this whole series of miracles, Jesus does some amazing feat to show off the other spiritual thing that is going on. He healed the paralyzed man to show that He forgave his sins. He didn’t heal the man at first but did it to show that He could forgive sin. Now He has calmed a storm full of wind and waves to show them that they don’t have to be afraid. Have faith in Jesus, don’t be afraid. 

In both cases, the healing or the calm wasn’t Jesus’ first priority. Trust and closeness to Him is number one. Trust that He forgives and trust that God really loves us is the number one priority to Jesus.

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Tags: disaster, doubt, faith, fear, panic, salvation, trust, worry