JESUS CALMS THE STORM
35That day when evening came, He said to his disciples; Let us go over to the other side. 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was in the boat. There were also other boats with him.37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to him “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39He got up rebuked the wind and said to the waves “Quiet! Be Still” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40He said to his disciples,”Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.” (MARK 4:35-41 NIV)
Theme: Jesus teaches His disciples how to cross over to the other side of the sea
1.1 Going other side of the sea
The Bible tells about Jesus who ordered His disciples to go over to the other side of the sea. The disciples decided to go with Jesus, shared the same boat with Jesus, yet there were other boats which accompanied them. Disciples knew Jesus is their protector and salvation lies in Him, they invited Him to join then as they went to the other side (Verses 35-37). The question to us all is “as followers of Jesus Christ, with whom do we choose to travel in our daily lives?”
1.2 Listening to call and waking up
As Jesus was sleeping in the boat, there came a strong wind that nearly capsized the boat. At this time, all the disciples called upon Jesus name, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” The Bible tells us that Jesus immediately woke up and commanded the storm to calm down. When Jesus in His sleep heard their call, He woke up and acted immediately. We are told, the storm calmed down and the people in the boat were saved (verses 38-39). What worries me today, is the fact that the disciples lived with Jesus and learnt about His teaching but had followed blindly. Jesus is also teaching us to wake up immediately, listen to the call and act upon it. Any delay responding to a call will be fatal in our lives.
1.3 Fear and lack of faith
In verses 40 Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Disciples followed Jesus and received all the teaching about the word of God but failed to receive the power to perform as Jesus commanded them. These disciples failed to have trust in themselves, failed even to try control the storm by themselves, eventually ended up with fear of death by drowning. This can apply to us today who pretend to be followers of Jesus but fail to take our position or authority as Jesus commands us. Christians have failed to accept authority in church, work places and communities we live in because of self-mistrust and fear. The moment a person is gripped with fear, the mind fails to accept authority that is given upon us.
1.4 Terrified and forgetting Jesus
In verse 41 we learn that the disciples were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this?, even the wind and the waves obey him”. This verse confirms to us that all the disciples did not know Jesus even though He was with them all the time. They took Jesus into their boat without knowing He is their Savior and what powers He had. Similarly, as Christians, we don’t see power in Jesus. We keep asking “who is this Jesus?”, pointing at the one who was nailed on the cross and died for us, the third day he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. The only one who sits on the right hand of God the Father.
2.0 MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY
I was admitted at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Malawi in November, 2011. Around 1:00 am hours while my wife Irene and I were fast asleep. In my sleep came a dream where I saw a human face in the clouds above, calling my name, “Banda, Banda, please wake up immediately. You will stop breathing shortly and you will die. Do something to save your life”. These words were repeated. Immediately I woke up, I thought it was just an ordinary or mere dream. Before I realized what was happening, I immediately felt short of oxygen. At that time I thought of my wife whom I immediately yelled for help. When she woke up, I explained what I was warned of and what I was going through. She could not understand the situation and only thought I was hallucinating, until when I insisted and explained what I was going through. At that time I was collapsing due to lack of oxygen, and Irene was terrified. Being a medical nurse herself, Irene immediately rushed into the doctorfs room to call for help. The doctor immediately came onto my bed and confirmed I required artificial oxygen. Fortunately for me, the doctor found only one oxygen equipment not in use to which I was connected in my unconscious state. Normally, oxygen apparatus at this hospital are on high demand, therefore on short supply, tut this time alone, God had reserved one for me. I was on oxygen for about twelve hours when I full regained and confirmed fit to breathe independently. Today I am with you in Tokyo. Isn’t it compelling and amazing to praise the Lord?
2.1 My brothers and sisters in Christ, my questions are many:
- What if these disciples went into the boat without Jesus, who could they call for help?, verse 36. If I was alone in the hospital room without my wife, to whom could I call upon for help?
- What if the call from disciples did not reach Jesus in the stern, sleeping on a cushion during this heavy storm, verse 37? Similarly, what if the message from the clouds did not reach me on my hospital bed? The word of God come to us through many ways, e.g. at the church, reading the bible, etc.
- What if Jesus did not wake up after hearing the call, verse 38? How about my wife, if she went ahead sleeping?
- What do we do when we get such messages? Both Jesus and my wife got up and acted upon receiving a call, verse 39. Jesus teaches us to act immediately without questioning. What do we do when we are called to follow Jesus, the only Son of living God?
- When the storm had calmed down, Jesus noticed something in the disciples; they were afraid and found no faith in them, verse 40. How do we behave when we have received salvation, or how did my wife, medical doctor react to my recovery. Remember a doctor treats but Jesus heals. Did you know this?
- In verse 41 the Bible tells us that the disciples were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? even the wind and the waves obey him.” Surprisingly, these disciples had all forgotten Jesus as the redeemer, savior and son of God, just soon after being saved from the storm. In John 3:16 (NIV) it is written “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
3.0 CONSEQUENCES OF SLEEPING
From the above reading and testimony, it is obvious, if Jesus did not listen to the call and continued sleeping in the stern of the boat, all the disciples would have perished. Similarly, I would have died in my sleep if I did not listen and respond to calls from the clouds in my sleep.
Let me refer you, brother and sisters in Christ to an occurrence. It was once reported that one of the six army Generals in North Korea was executed simply because he was sleeping during a meeting which was presided over by the head of state. He was considered showing insubordination to the president. Such things happen amidst ourselves, and within our social set-ups. What more with God if we cannot wake up to His commands, before we enter the Kingdom of God?. This is the time to open our ears, to wake up and act for us to enter the kingdom of God.
May God bless you all. Amen