Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lent Day 11 - Mark 4:35-41

Peace among the chaos. Upon going to the other side of the sea (the Gentile side), a great storm arose. While the boat is filling with water and the disciples are freaking out, Jesus is a sleep on a pillow. This wasn't a large boat (search the next to last slide show for a boat that dates back to Jesus' time). Even a little water would have been noticeable. How Jesus is sleeping through this is a wonder in and of itself? The disciples are in a fit. They arouse Jesus from sleep who calms this sea with the words: "Peace! Be Still!" The sea that was vicious and having the disciples to believe death was imminent is now eerily calm. You might think the disciple's reaction would be one of being overjoyed or excited since they have escaped death. Instead they were "absolutely terrified" as the NLT translates it. They ask each other (interestingly they don't direct their question to Jesus!) "Who is this who that the winds and sea obey Him?" While the sea is calm, the disciples are more afraid now then when they thought they were going to drown.
What are your greatest fears?
What other biblical story has a character sleeping on a boat when waves are threatening?
For the most part Jews feared the seas (with the exception of fisherman). To the Jews the abyss of demons was deep below the sea surface. How might have this lead to the disciple's initial fears?
Check out Psalm 65:7, 89:9, 107:28-29, and 148:7. How might this shed light on the disciple's increased fear after the sea is calmed?
How might this story enlarge our view of God's power and presence? How might fear of God be a good thing?
How might this God help conquer our greatest fears and bring us peace amidst our chaos?
Where do you need to hear God's word of "Peace! Be Still!" today?

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