Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A CERTAIN KIND OF FAITH

Re-read this account for me please -

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side."  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"  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?"  They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" - Mark 4:35-41

"Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat."

  • Interesting that Mark makes a point to state the Disciples "took him [Jesus] along in the boat". However, it is even more interesting Mark says the disciples would take Jesus - "just as he was". Was there some kind of clothing or travel gear that Jesus was supposed to change into?  What did that phrase mean?  I hear the song "Just As I Am" playing in the background here.

"There were also other boats with him."

  • Interesting that what is about to happen did not involve any assistance from the rest of the boats. Maybe because they were fighting for their lives also, but they still were not mentioned in any way.

"A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped."

  • The image you get of the kind of boats back then on a lake under these kinds of conditions makes you think this boat is half under water.  The interesting thing, NO, the Amazing thing is.....

"Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion."

  • Are you kidding me!  The tossing of a "squall" did not wake Him.  The coldness of water reaching over the boat's edge and drenching His body did not wake Him.  The wind from this storm did not wake Him. Look what woke Jesus!  


"The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

  • Try to place yourself in the shoes of the Disciples.  So, you are a miracle man!  So, you have compassion toward the people!  So, you have some sort of special mission from God and you are taking us along with you.  We are concerned for our lives here and how in the world you are doing it we don't know, but you are sleeping!?  You might not die out here but have you brought us this far with you to die in the middle of a lake?   
"He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm."

  • First, Jesus shows His miracle working power in the situation despite what the Disciples are lacking. Jesus answered their call THEN molded them further.


He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

  • The key here is that Jesus was looking for a consistency of faith in His disciples.  Jesus' explanation, in the form of two questions, was not only that they did not have any faith in this situation, it was that they "still" had no faith and displayed this through being "afraid".  
I can hear Jesus elaborating to them and down through the ages I can hear Him elaborating to me - [Where was your faith at the last miracle you witnessed me give?  Where has been your faith through all the many miracles you have seen me do?  When you do find your faith in me, never let it go and always keep it fed with your own personal testimonies of my Faithfulness.  Remember, whenever your faith wavers in me I am always Faithful and have been Faithful and will be Faithful.]

Prayer:
Dear Lord,
Develop in me a consistent faith in you.  Let there be no more periods of doubt in my life.  Keep doubt and faithlessness at bay my Lord so that I may operate more effectively in the amount of faith you have given me. Please give me opportunities to exercise my faith so it will grow and mature into what you want it to look like.  In your name, Jesus, I pray - Amen.