Storm on the Sea of Galilee

We are all affected by the storms and struggles of life. The question to consider is how are you going to respond? Like a tennis ball or play dough? You see, when you put pressure on play dough, it leaves a lasting imprint. Everybody can tell that is has been tampered with becaus … More

Storms

Jesus urged the disciples to row the boat across the lake to Bethsaida, even before He dismissed the crowd (v. 45). Why would He want to do this? Mark does not tell us but perhaps it was because the people wanted to make Jesus King (Jn. 6:15) and this was the last thing He wanted. He knew that His ambitious disciples would have fallen for this idea and so He wanted to get them away. 

Jesus now departs to the mountain to pray and some time later He looks out to see his disciples struggling at their oars on the roaring waters of Galilee (vv. 46-48). It was about the fourth watch (v.48). According to the Jewish clock this would have been about 3 a.m. This storm in no way indicated that the disciples had departed from God’s will. In fact God’s path for them was through the storm. By following in direct obedience of the Lord’s command they found themselves in this struggle. In the darkest hour, in their greatest need, and in a totally unexpected way Jesus came to their rescue and He will do the same for us. This passage is all about contrary winds or the storms that come into our lives. Let us look at four realities about this incident:

  1. Jesus compelled (“constrained”) them into the contrary winds (vv. 45-46). He literally forced the disciples into the contrary winds to teach, or condition, or strengthen them.
  2. Jesus comprehended (“saw”) their troubles (vv. 47-48a). It stands to reason that if Jesus was the one who sent them He also understood what was going to happen to them.
  3. Jesus came (“went out”) to them in their trouble (vv. 48b-50b). A God who gets you into  trouble with you understands all about it.
  4. Jesus confirmed (said “It is I, don’t be afraid”) their faith in Him (vv. 50-52). 

Application

What are some of the storms that cause me to struggle in life? How does Jesus want me to respond to these contrary winds? Do I tend to waste opportunities like this to grow in my Christian life?

Mark 6:45-52 (English Standard Version)

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid." And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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