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Mark 056 - Don't You Care?

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

Mark 4:37,38

My dad was very careful when it came to safety on his boat. He was especially conservative when it came to rough seas and bad weather. This was for two reasons.

· First, his boat was a major investment and didn’t want anything to happen to it. But more important was the second reason.

· Second, he was a very poor swimmer. He grew up in the city and never really learned to swim. When he went into the navy, there was a required swimming test that he failed. But it was wartime, so they let it slide. If, for some reason, he accidently went into the water, there was a very good chance that he was never coming out alive

Unlike my dad, these guys grew up around the water. They were professional fishermen who had grown up on the water. They lived and made their livelihood on the Sea of Galilee. They had seen it all. Experienced it all.

But this loud and noisy storm was beyond anything they had ever experienced. Black thunderclouds suddenly rolled in from the mountains with furious gusts of wind and rain. When Hurricane Charley went over our house, it sounded like a freight train was on top of us. And as the cold water beat on them and the boat, none of them thought that there was any way out of this desperate dilemma.

And in this storm that tossed the boat like it was nothing, Jesus is sleeping. He was so worn out from all the activity and stress of the day that he just passes out in the back of the boat. The roar of the storm nor the cold water crashing in could awaken Jesus. That’s how utterly exhausted he was.

Remember the last time that you were just so exhausted that you “crashed” and fell asleep? Jesus experienced the same thing. Perhaps even more.

Yes, Jesus is tired. Yes, Jesus is asleep. And yes, Jesus does care what happens to his followers. After all, Jesus didn’t say, “Let’s start going over to the other side of the sea so we can unexpectedly get caught in a storm so everyone is drowned.” No, Jesus had a plan and purpose in taking his disciples over to the other side. And a crashing storm was not going to stop him.

But his disciples didn’t quite get it when it came to Jesus. Why else would they cry out in fear? Why else would they question Jesus and his care for them? With everything going on all around them, they concluded that he wasn’t paying attention to them. He was too tired, too distracted, to be able to do anything.

After all, if Jesus really cared, wouldn’t he have stopped the storm before it became a storm? Wouldn’t he have calmed the storm before it really started blowing and raining? Wouldn’t he turn the storm away before the first gust of wind or first wave rose up against the side of the boat?

That’s the kind of God we want. One who prevents the storms of life from ever come crashing into our life. We want Jesus to use all his Godly knowledge, power, and ability to steer the storms of life over someone else. We want our Sea of Galilee life to always be calm, with a warm, gentle breeze at our back, filling our sails with speed that’s not too fast, and not too slow.

We want a safe Jesus. A predictable Jesus. A Jesus that fits into our life. A Jesus that’s not too outrageous. A Jesus that lines up with our ideas of God. A Jesus that’s acceptable to our family and friends.

In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan, the great lion, is safe. His reply says it oh so much better than I ever could.

Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you[1].”

When it comes to Jesus, who said anything about safe? Not Jesus. Not God. Not the Bible. There are some people trying to reshape Jesus into someone soft, weak, controllable. They want a Jesus that they can use to guilt people into doing what they want. They want a feeble Jesus that they can leverage to get power and control over people.

Jesus wouldn’t bow down to the ruling class of his day. Jesus wouldn’t bow down to Pilate and the Roman army. Jesus wouldn’t bow down to a crushing storm. And he won’t bow down to us and our demands.

He is God, we are the ones to do the bowing, not him. And when we bow, his loving care and arms never abandon us. Not even in the storms of life that look so frightful to us.

[1] C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


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