In 2020 we’ve seen cities burn, stores looted, cops killed, random shootings, a worldwide pandemic, lockdowns, masks, job losses, political corruption and media disinformation. All of this signals an uncertain and dangerous future.
But I wonder, would it frighten Jesus?
The answer is found in Mark 4:35-41. It’s there Jesus told his disciples, “Let us go to the other side.” He meant the other side of the Sea of Galilee, at night. As they sailed, “A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it nearly swamped.”
One moment, the lake rested. The disciples rowed. And then an angry gale hit the smooth sea. Waves rose like mountains. Flying foam blocked vision. A torn sail flapped. Flashes of lightening lit terrified faces. And worst of all, the boat filled with water. Experienced fishermen assessed the situation and believed the boat would sink and they would all die. Every leader of God’s kingdom would drown, including the King.
And what of Jesus? Mark says, “Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion” (v.37).
What a stunning scene. In the midst of a horrible storm–the wind, the waves, the lightening, the boat filling with water, the panicked disciples–Jesus slept on a cushion in the back of the boat.
The disciples woke their King, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
The disciples interpreted the Lord’s sleep as indifference.
Awakened, Jesus calmed the storm with a three word rebuke, “Quiet! Be still!” (v. 39).
He then asked two questions: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (v. 40).
We fear, not because of the wind and waves–the corruption, the fraud, civil unrest, rioting, looting, disinformation, lockdowns, and our children’s future. We fear because we fail to believe that with Jesus in the boat we are safe.
This is a universal truth: With Jesus in the boat we are safe. It’s true always and everywhere.
Do you think Jesus is frantic today? Did our national storm take him by surprise? Does he fear we will all die? Does he fear our nation will crumble? Of course not. So why hasn’t he calmed the storm? Could it be he wants us to learn we are safe in a storm with him in the boat?
Unlike the gale the disciples endured, this one will not quickly subside. The wind will howl. Waves will rise and fall. Lightening will flash. Thunder will roll. Water will fill the boat. And through it all–you have nothing to fear with Jesus in the boat.