Mark 4:35-41: Faith Over Fear
What is the worst storm you've ever been through?
Let's read the account of a severe storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Let's read verses 35-41.
How did the disciples react to this storm? And what did many of them do for a living? (They were fisherman: 1:16-19.) So how strong can we surmise this storm was? (These seaworthy fishermen were accustomed to storms on the Sea of Galilee and this one must have been fierce for them to fear for their lives.)
Are you ever annoyed when it looks like God is sleeping and ignoring the situation that has "swamped" you and threatens to drown you?
Why do you think the disciples wake Jesus up?
Did they want Him to calm the storm or to take cover? (With their surprise at His calming of the storm, we can infer that they did not expect him to do so. Their "we" could include Jesus as well!)
Why are the disciples still "terrified" even after Jesus calms the storm? (This fear was not produced by the storm, but by the calm. [Morgan 105-106] The sudden storm and sudden stillness caused brain overload. They were in fearful awe of the One who possessed authority to rebuke both the waves and themselves.)
What did the disciples ask each other in verse 41? ("Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!") Tell us of a time God blew away your concept of Him by a display of His power.
Someone read verse 40 for us. After their brush with death, Jesus doesn't comfort, but rather scolds His disciples.
Why is He so hard on them?
Is there evidence in the passage that Jesus meant to enter this storm as a test of the disciples' faith? Hint, if needed: verse 37. (Jesus suggested the boat trip Himself, and promptly went to sleep. The application to our lives is that even when Jesus LEADS us "through the valley of the shadow of death", we should fear no evil, for HE IS WITH US. We too can rest in faith during the storm. Our boat isn't going down, because Jesus is on board.)
How would they have responded if they had had faith? (They would not have awakened Him and asked if He cared. They would have trusted His very presence to keep them safe.)
In what areas of your life are you tempted to respond with fear rather than faith?
As we go to prayer, consider how you will react when you are next tempted with those fears. Let's ask Jesus to give us His rest of faith, and let's worship Him who commands all manner of winds and waves.