Today Mark gives yet another reason for us to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. When Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee with just the sound of His voice, His disciples recognized Him as the Lord of creation. If you are a Christian, that same Jesus who was with His disciples in the boat is with you today.
The Text (Mark 4:35-41)
35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Mark shows his readers again and again that Jesus Christ was and is the Son of God. So far in Mark’s gospel, we have already read about Jesus casting out demons, healing the sick, teaching with authority, forgiving sins, claiming lordship over the Sabbath, and calling disciples to surrender their lives to Him. And we are only in chapter four! Mark gives us these episodes from Christ’s earthly ministry to show us that Jesus is Lord. He is God. The things that He did on this earth could only have been done by God. We are left with only one possible response to the Jesus we see in the Bible – to fall on our knees before Him in worship.
With the calming of the storm, Jesus proves again that He is God, this time by showing by His authority over nature. The disciples were Jews who knew the Old Testament. They knew that is was the Lord who spoke and brought this universe into existence. They knew that it was the Lord who sent the worldwide flood. They knew that it was the Lord who sent the wonders or plagues against the Egyptians to force the pharaoh to let God’s people go free. So when Jesus stopped the terrifying storm from destroying their boat and drowning them, the disciples saw the God-ness of our Lord Jesus. That’s why they asked with a sense of holy fear and awe, “What manner of man is this?” in the boat with them.
The disciples’ understanding of who Jesus was and is developed gradually as they spent time with Him daily for three years. From passages like this, it is clear that the disciples did not totally grasp the God-ness of Christ when they first responded to His call to follow Him. In many ways, our Christian life today is like that, too. Sure, we have the whole Bible available to us now, whereas the New Testament had not yet been written at the time that Jesus walked the land of Israel. Even so, we must admit that we know much more about who Jesus is now than when we first accepted Him as Lord and Savior. We don’t have to understand everything about God to come to Him for salvation. But once we are saved, our knowledge of Him will grow as we spend time with Him. As we study the Bible, meditate on the meaning of passages and verses, pray to the Lord honestly, fellowship with other believers, listen to the Word taught at church and elsewhere, and seek to obey His commands, our faith in Him will grow. Learning about Jesus and learning to know Him personally is a life-long process. Even after the great Apostle Paul was old and had walked with Christ for many years, he still confessed that it was his heart’s desire to know Christ more (check out Philippians 3:10-14). And the awesome thing is that He wants us to know Him! He was in the boat with His disciples, and by the power of His Holy Spirit living in us, Jesus is with us, too. Praying that our knowledge of the Savior would increase even more today.