Read Mark 4:35-41. What stood out to you in this reading of the text?
When the author of Mark composed this story, I conclude that he did so to illustrate Jesus' power and maybe his disappointment over the disciples' lack of faith. I have a hard time believing that the message is to keep on smilin' when your life is in peril.
Surely God wants us to protect ourselves. Their being afraid led the disciples to awaken Jesus, whose command did calm the storm.
The disciples may have failed the test of their faith, but Jesus saved them anyway.
Amy, I so appreciate your line, ". . . but Jesus saved them anyway." I have been grateful so many times that, despite my failings and times of doubt, God remains constant and faithful.
Your comment reminds me of the hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"--
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father.
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
So well put, Ellen. Thank you.
Thank you for the validation, Gina! I really appreciate your participation in the discussion!
I've always thought that the disciples were a bit harsh when they woke Jesus. They could have awakened Him to try to protect Him or ask Him for guidance. Instead, they accuse Him of not caring about them. That's a bit of a jump, in my opinion. OR, did they have such great faith in Him that they believed He could calm the sea and just wasn't caring about them enough to do so? Hmmm . . .
The author of the devotional refers to the disciples as "clueless." They had been with Jesus in person, witnessing Him in action, and still they "didn't get it." I've heard that this lack of understanding explains why they are called the "duh-sciples"!
While I find some truth and humor in those descriptions, I also think it's easy for us to be judgmental about the disciples because we have the entire gospel story to help us understand. Isn't it always easier to see the big picture in hindsight? The disciples were in the midst of Jesus's life. They didn't know what was coming or what the significance of it all was. Sometimes, I want to give those guys a break. Nothing and no one like Jesus had ever been a part of their lives. They dropped everything to follow Him. Did I leave my job and family to follow Him? Hmmm . . .
In this particular passage, the disciples, many of whom were fishermen used to life on the water, were afraid of drowning in a storm. That sounds like justifiable fear to me. Jesus was right there with them, but they were still "freaking out" with panic. Well . . . Jesus is right here with us in our lives. Yet, I can fluster myself into a frantic panic when I am stressed. And, many times, I have created the stress myself. I'm thinking that "duh" comment may apply more to me than to the disciples. Or, is that too harsh a judgment, also? Hmmm . . .
The people in Kentucky who were hit by those tornados within the last week come to mind. I'll bet they were afraid--I know I would have been! Were there Christians there who were, in spite of their faith, freaking out with panic? I imagine that is quite likely. And, I just want to reach out to comfort them--no judgment involved. Why don't we have that same compassion for the disciples? Or for ourselves? Hmmm . . .
I believe the focus of this devotional entry is "faith over fear." I am finding an additional lesson for myself is "empathy over judgment."