Notes on Mark’s Gospel (46)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Lord, Increase our Faith (Chapter 4 Verses 35-41)

The narrative conveys the astonishing serenity of Jesus (v39). Three words are sufficient, “peace, be still”. The result is instantaneous – calm. Isn’t the Lord’s rebuke (v40) justified, didn’t he have the right to expect more of them? I mean after all they have seen and heard? The more that is given to us, the more responsibility it brings upon us (Matthew 21.43; Matthew 25.29). In fact even had the Lord not been physically present with them, their fear would still be perfectly unreasonable (Matthew 28.20). And if we really believe what we believe, even had they perished in the water, fear would not be justified (Philippians 1.21-23). The implications of this are quite plain, the disciples were brought to see how much they needed faith that was strong and brave, and more to the point Jesus wants his people to have such. There is so much anguish, and pain, suffering even amongst Christians in the Church today, the answer is not for the Lord to miraculously whisk them away. In the providence of God they are there for a good reason, the answer is for us to have a deeper, stronger faith. To know even, the full assurance of faith. To know the sealing of the Spirit and the earnest of heaven in our souls.

You think the storm frightened these men? The miracle absolutely terrorized them (v41). They are totally awed at this power. It is the same reaction as that of Peter (Luke 5.8). Or Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 6.1-7). The question asked is the right one. Who indeed can control, by simple word of mouth, the wind and sea? No one answers the question, but each one in his own heart knows there is but one answer. Only God! Yes, silence was appropriate. Do you think perhaps all this is in answer to a person’s praying? Maybe one of the disciples in hearing the Lord’s preaching? Perhaps he silently bowed his head and solemnly, sincerely asked the Lord, “show me, Lord”. You know, for some of us, just to be quiet before the Lord would perhaps be the best thing for us. It would be a revelation indeed for us to get quiet enough, long enough, in the presence of God, enough to get to know our own souls, and more importantly to get to know him, to allow the eternal One to reveal himself to us (Psalm 39.2-3; Psalm 46.10). Maybe we would not be so fearful then? Maybe we would be better equipped to deal with the circumstances God has allocated to us? If we did that as much as we complain, perhaps we would see an astonishing transformation. Draw near to him now (Hebrew 4.16; James 4.8).

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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