Pastoral Perspectives

Who Is This?

In the narrative of Mark 4:35-41, it was evening time, Jesus and His disciples were going into the boat, desiring to cross over to the other side of the lake. Other boats were coming with them. Suddenly, without warning, a great windstorm arose. Imagine yourself being in this windstorm, how will you feel? Of course, you will feel frightened and scared! How did the disciples of Jesus feel? Were they afraid like you? Did you know that the disciples were experienced fishermen? In this instance, how would they fare? Later on, in the narrative account, you will find out. For now, let me continue to share the narrative.

With the windstorm came the waves, the very strong waves! Did the waves show mercy? No, they did not! The waves were breaking into the boat! Water, much water, was filling the boat already. If you were the disciples of Jesus there and then, you can feel that your feet were trembling with fear. What will you do at that crucial moment? Cry aloud for help? The windstorm and the waves must have caught the disciples by a great surprise. For the disciples, they must have been wondering where Jesus was. It was very unusual that during this critical moment, Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. With great desperation, they woke Jesus out of His sweet sleep. They seemed to be very disappointed with Jesus thinking that He did not care that they were all going to die in this tragedy. Were they expecting Jesus to do something about the situation? If they did not, then why would they woke Him up? Perhaps, they did think that Jesus was able to do something in that situation. Are we like them in some ways? When we are at our wits’ end, did we not also call out to God for help?

No one would expect what Jesus did on that day. Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Immediately, the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Wow! Earlier, there was a great windstorm. Now, there was a great calm. No more windstorm, no more waves in the sea! Calmness filled the whole sea, that is, the whole lake. The sea here is the Sea of Galilee which is actually a huge lake. At this moment, the disciples must have been stunned. At this juncture, Jesus confronted the disciples with these words, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” They did not know how to respond to Jesus. I think they must have been so dumbfounded, no knowing how and what to say to Him. Did they think that they lack faith? I think that they lacked the knowledge of the true identity of Jesus. After hearing the question from Jesus, they were very fearful and spoke to each other with this great curiosity in mind: “Who is this? How come the wind and the sea obey Him?” Through this incident, vividly, Jesus was revealing His true identity to His disciples. He was showing them that He is God and He is in control. He is in control of the winds and the waves. What can we learn from this simple narrative? Let me share my thoughts in the followings.

Likewise, for ourselves, as believers in Christ, when situations are smooth, no great disturbances, we will go through the days and weeks without that consciousness of who Jesus really is. But when we encounter great difficulty in life, we do not know what to do; we will turn to the Lord our God for help. We will expect God to show up, to intervene in our desperate situation. Sometimes, we do have little faith until God comes to the rescue. Our God is a loving God. He does not leave us alone, without showing us His lovingkindness and His tender mercy. God never forgets us but we are the ones who forget Him. God wants us to know Him more and more each new day. We can only know who God really is, if and only if, we take time to spend with Him, reading His Word (the Bible), listening to Him speaking to us through the Bible and then responding to Him through prayer, sharing with Him what we have learnt from His precious words.

“Who is this?”– This is a personal encounter for anyone who longs to know the Saviour of the World, Jesus. He is the Son of God who came to die on the cross for your sins and mine. On the third day, He rose from the dead and He lives forever to be your Saviour and mine. He longs to be your Saviour too if you have not invited Him into your life before. What do you need to do? Just admit that you are a sinner and that you need Him to be your Saviour to save you from your sins by inviting Jesus into your life right where you are. Talk to someone if you want to find out more.

Let us, as His followers, remember who God really is: He is the Lord of the Universe. He is in control and nothing happens in your life and mine without His consent and His knowledge. He is aware of what you are going through. Simply trust Him for His grace, His strength and His wisdom to face the challenges ahead of us. With Christ in the vessel, we can smile in the storms of life!

Preacher George Ang

April 29, 2018