Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday 24.6.12 Mark 4.35 – end

12 06 2012

The Authority to Calm

Mark’s gospel is a bit breathless. One thing happens right after another. But here Jesus seems intent on slowing the pace down. His project, if that is the word, seems to be relaxation. Alas it does not come naturally. It requires spiritual effort and the authority to calm.

Mark 4.35-end

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ 36And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ 39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ 41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’

Boat reflection

Boat reflection (Photo credit: Jesper Hauge)

Reflections and Questions

‘Let us go across to the other side’ v 35 Jesus is taking the initiative. He is the leader.

What sort of leader is Jesus at this stage in the gospel story? What can we learn about leadership from his example?

‘leaving the crowd behind.’ v 36. It is important not to miss this. Jesus had much to teach and give, as well as enormous capacity as a healer. But he also left people and moved on.

Is jesus giving an example of not needing to be needed here? Of not creating dependency? Why do you think Jesus left the crowds?

‘Peace, be still’ v39 Notice how positive Jesus’ words of rebuke are. He does not have an angry voice which makes for guilt, but an authoritative one that makes for calm.

What have been the most powerful words of rebuke in your life? Do you need to hear these three words of Jesus now?

‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ v40 Jesus is speaking to his frightened disciples here. The same question could be asked of many today

Are you afraid? Do you have faith? Who knows?