Safe To The Other Side
There are few things scarier than being in a small sailing vessel when the wind kicks up and the waves begin to roll. I remember sailing with my dad on Schroon Lake when suddenly our main sail got hit with a gust. Then we looked down the lake and we could see the wall of water marching up the lake. This summer thunderstorm hit fast and hard. We barely made it to shore before the full spearhead of the storm hit.
The Sea of Galilee in Israel is like a large cereal bowl. There’s one opening in this depression on the northwestern shore, and when strong winds strike off the Mediterranean, they can funnel through this opening and generate storms that can scare even seasoned fishermen. This is exactly what happened one evening after Jesus dispersed the crowds. He told the disciples they would pass to the other side, but when the gale hit, they weren’t all that sure.
“On that day when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let’s cross over to the other side.’ Sending the crowd away, they took him with them in the boat and other boats were with them. Now a great storm with powerful winds struck. The waves broke against the boat nearly filling it. In the stern of the boat Jesus was sleeping on a pillow. They woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?’ He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Be quiet and be still!’ The wind stopped and there was a great calm. And he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? Don’t you yet have faith?’ They were frightened with a great fear and said to one another, ‘So who is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!’” Mark 4:35-43
I’ve mentioned how I recently heard a prominent New Testament professor calmly asserting in an interview that in the earliest Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, there was no preposterous claim that Jesus was God. The historical Jesus was a good, moral effective rabbi. In order to come to this conclusion we obviously have to eliminate this calming of the seas account. When Jesus’ disciples asked, “So who is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!” as readers we’d have to be extremely dense not to get the point. Only God, the Creator, has this kind of power over nature.
On this Tuesday, I’m trusting that the divine power that got Jesus’ disciples safely through the storm will protect me. Jesus told the disciples they would make it to the other side and we can trust him to bring us safe on the other side when the deadly storm of death strikes.
LORD, help my faith in your Son’s deity and power to calm any storm to keep growing. Thanks that even when learned scholars don’t figure it out, even young children can read this account, figure it out that Jesus was God, and believe.
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