What if the disciples had said that when their boat was being tossed around in the storm? “Hey, Jesus is with us, so what’s the problem?” And he was asleep too, not the least bit phased by the wind howling and the waves crashing against the sides of the boat, and water sloshing around at their feet.
But they didn’t say that. Instead, they were terrified that the boat would capsize and they’d all drown, including Jesus. So they shook him awake, accused him of not being concerned, to which Jesus replies, “Why are you so scared? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
You mean, if they did have faith they wouldn’t have been afraid at all, and maybe even enjoyed being thrown around, knowing whatever the weather chucked at them they’d be fine? And as far as Jesus was concerned, yes, that’s exactly what they could be experiencing because he was with them. But they hadn’t reached that point yet, because in his words they still didn’t have faith.
And it sounded like a disappointment to him, because what else did he need to do to get them to trust him? In Capernaum, for instance, back in Mark 1:23-26, he’d told an evil spirit to shut up and leave the man it had possessed, which the spirit did with a horrible shriek. Then in verses 30-31, he totally healed Simon’s mother-in-law, bedridden with a nasty fever. Then in verse 32, people with all kinds of physical and demonic sicknesses were lined up at his door, and he healed “many” of them (verse 34). Then in verses 40-42 he healed a man with the dreaded leprosy. I mean what else did the disciples need as proof of Jesus’ power?
And so many people came to Jesus for healing that the four friends of a paralytic had to rip the tiles off the roof and lower the man down to Jesus, who, again, totally healed him (Mark 2:11-12), also witnessed by his disciples. They saw him heal a man’s shrivelled hand too in chapter 3, so by the time they got to chapter 4 and their boat was near to capsizing, they had all kinds of evidence that the man snoozing in the stern had amazing power over things both physical and demonic. So enjoy the ride, because he was with them. Another crashing wave, whee, bring on another.
So in answer to the question in the last blog, as to why God doesn’t do something about the scary weather we’re having nowadays, could he ask of us too, “What are you so frightened about? You know what I can do, so why don’t you trust me?”
Yeah but, he’s not with us like he was with them, is he? Well, yes he is, because in his own words he said to anyone who loves and obeys him, “I will love him and make myself real to him,” John 14:21, because, verse 23, both he and his Father “will come to him and make our home with him.” So he’s with us all right, and even closer than he was with his disciples too.
In Paul’s words too, in Philippians 4:5-6, “The Lord is near” so “don’t be anxious about anything.” In other words, “So long as he’s with us, we’re fine.”