Intro: In early Christian art the church was often depicted as a boat driven upon a perilous sea — very early this incident (text) was understood as a sign of Jesus saving presence in the presence of storms that seek to overwhelm the believer’s life.
1. THE STORM OFTEN COMES IN THE PATH OF OBEDIENCE. This journey was undertaken at the Lord’s command. This made the storm harder to understand the Lord’s attitude inexplicable. the word Mark uses means more than an ordinary storm, it means a furious storm. The disciples had weathered many storms but this one terrified them. Sometimes the storms of obedience are greater than ordinary storms.
2. THE STORM OFTEN MAKES IT APPEAR THAT JESUS DOESN’T CARE. He was asleep. “Carest not that we perish?” Their cry implies a feeling of resentment at Jesus’ apparent indifference to their situation. Notice the contrast between the disciples ” panic” and the Lord’s “peace.” Gideon cried, “If the Lord be with us why have all these things befallen us?”
3. THE STORM REVEALS THE REAL ENEMY. It exposed their weakness: fear and lack of faith. Faithlessness is to be feared more than any storm. The problem that confronted God was not stilling the storm on the sea, but stilling the storm in the disciple’s hearts. It was the disciple’s opinion that they were perishing.
4. THE STORM DRIVES US TO JESUS. They were expert sailors but in this storm, they asked a preacher for help. At the end of their resources, they now threw all their hope on Jesus.
5. THE STORM ALWAYS REVEALS SOMETHING NEW ABOUT JESUS. “They feared exceedingly.” “Who then is this?” this is a different fear than the one produced by the storm ( a cowardly fear). This fear is a deep reverential awe in the presence of the supernatural. And Jesus did not rebuke this kid of fear. Not the fear of terror but of trust. Augustine said, “Fear God and you need fear nothing else.”
©Ron Dunn, LifeStyle Ministries, 2001