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Mark 057 - The Direct Approach



He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”


Mark 4:39,40


There are times in life when you need to approach problems with tact. With gentleness. With subtlety. And then, there are those times when problems need to be handled directly. No messing around. No delaying.


One morning I was traveling when I received a call from our family doctor. The call itself was unusual because he had never called me before. It was doubly unusual because it was 7:30 in the morning. He called to tell me that the test results came back. I’ll pause to let that sink in and build tension.


The tests confirmed that I had melanoma cancer on my arm. When I asked if that was bad, there was a pause that seemed to go on for a long time. He said that it’s the worst skin cancer and that we had to move and move quickly to have it removed.


At that point, I had a decision. I could decide it wasn’t all that bad. I could have said that I’d get to around to it when I felt like it. But it was one of those times in life when you must move and move quickly.


That’s where we find Jesus. The wind was blowing, water was coming over the sides, the ship was sinking. Jesus stands up from his nap and directly goes into action.


He rebuked the wind, warning it to stop. And guess what, the wind immediately stops. The wind went from violence to calm. It was like when you turn off a fan, the air immediately stops blowing.


And then Jesus turns to the waves and tells them to be silent. It was like he put a muzzle on the water so that it couldn’t make any more noise. What happens when you get tired? You stop and sit down. That’s what the water did. It sank under its own weight, like it was exhausted.


Now that the wind had stopped blowing, and the waves had become calm, Jesus turns to his disciples. Can you just imagine the look on their faces? After all, who talks to the wind? Who tries to order the water?


They had been scared out of their minds, afraid that they were going to die. Then this guy named Jesus talks to the wind and waves, and they stop. But they don’t just stop, they immediately stop.


It's not like they slowly calmed down. Or the storm slowly moved on like it normally did. No, Jesus speaks and all of a sudden, the wind runs out of gas and the waves turn into a calm swimming pool. It’s not natural. It’s supernatural.


So, how is it possible? How did this happen? The short answer is that the one who made the wind told it to stop, knowing how to stop it. And the one who made the seas, and how to stop them, made it stop. The creator of all things was with them in the boat.


The disciples had believed that he was the Messiah. And that was a good start. But they didn’t understand or recognize that a whole lot of other things came alone with that. Being the Messiah also meant that he was God, but they didn’t make that connection.


When we got married, I was the happiest guy in the world. But I really didn’t understand all it meant to be a good and loving husband. In my head I knew that I was supposed to empty myself for my wife and Christ loved the church and gave himself for her[1]. But how did that work its way out in everyday life?


That’s where the disciples are. They thought about it a bit and made an initial commitment. Now comes the daily, day in, day out, following of Jesus. He stops the storm in its tracks and there is no explanation for it. Or is there?


The answer, the explanation isn’t a what or a why. It’s a who. The God of the universe is fully in the person of the guy standing in the boat with them. They just saw him do the impossible and they still can’t believe it. Their faith is so small.


And so is ours. How many times has God shown himself strong in our lives? How many times has God answered prayer, to protect us from evil, to give us daily bread? We probably think it was our hard work or just “good fortune,” whatever that is.


But it was none of those things. Again, it was a who. Our great, loving, kind, and gracious God showed up in Jesus. And he came with all his power, compassion, and majesty. Fully God. Fully man.


Our fear and lack of faith is on the same road as the disciples. But they were still walking through it. We’re looking back at the full story. And yet our faith is so weak.


When are we going to fully accept Jesus for who he is? Who he claimed to be? Who he showed himself to be?

[1] Ephesians 5:25

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