Todays readings.. 1 Kings 3, Jeremiah 30, Mark 4
The disciples had been constant companions of Jesus, seeing him do remarkable miracles and hearing his teaching. In today’s chapter 4 in Mark’s Gospel, the point is made that Jesus “did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.” [v.34]
How privileged the disciples were – and, in one sense, cannot most of us can say the same!? There is a certain comparison with ourselves, for we have spent many years, in some cases a great many years, daily reading and absorbing the word of God every day. The more we do this, the more the wonder of its’ meaning becomes evident in our hearts (as well as our minds).
Now, there is an incident described at the end of today’s chapter that should make us ponder – as to the ‘strength’ of our resultant faith as a result of our reading! Most of the disciples had been fisherman before they followed Jesus and they would know the ‘moods’ of the sea of Galilee.
We read how “leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.” [v.36] “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 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?” [v.37,38] It was a panic reaction – they thought only of themselves. What wonders happened then– as far as the disciples were concerned, the next verse tells us what this wonder was!
He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Their reaction to this rebuke carries a lesson for us that we should take to heart as we ponder the last verse in our chapter!
“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?” It was so different from seeing someone healed!
The parallel for us is that we have seen remarkable events fulfilling prophecy in the Middle East with the re-establishment of Israel. Today’s 30th chapter we read in Jeremiah – challenges us! In the last verse we read, “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this.”
The disciples knew (up to a point) who Jesus was, remember how Peter declared! “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16 v.16] As events dramatically unfold upon the world, like the storm on Galilee – we will, spiritually, hear Jesus asking us the question, as he did the disciples, in the height of that awesome storm – “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”