On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” – Mark 4:35-41
Saturday is often the day we do the lawn. Diane runs the lawnmower (self-propelled), and I do the edging, trimming, and blowing. Viewed from the side of “before” the task is sometimes daunting. Viewed from the side of “after”, it’s a great feeling. We say the same thing about our workouts. The view from after a difficult but rewarding task is so much better.
I’m thinking Jesus’ disciples might have such a recalibration – at lease half-way through their trip across the lake. Initially it’s likely they were gung ho. Yes! Let’s go to the other side. Let’s have some down time. Let’s get away from this crowd. Let’s take some time off. They likely also realized that Jesus needed a break as well.
That became obvious for them as they were crossing the lake and Jesus fell asleep. Then comes the storm. The crossing seems not so inviting. The task at hand becomes more challenging – to say the least. What had started as an easy trip to a time of R&R becomes suddenly a fight for survival. And Jesus is asleep in the boat. Oblivious. Exhausted. Unconcerned. Unhelpful.
Don’t you care that we drown?!? I certainly understand that sentiment. There is no obvious expression of concern about their plight on the part of Jesus. He’s asleep, remember.
But they perhaps lost sight of Jesus’ initial words, “Let us go across to the other side.” They are about to see how powerful and far-reaching these words are. They are about to learn what Jesus’ words can do. If Jesus can speak to the sea and winds, “Peace! Be still!” And winds cease and there is a great calm, then his words about going to the other side are perhaps worth further consideration.
The view from the other side allows us to do just that. We know they made it. We know he stilled the storm. We know his disciples were in awe of him after they saw that mighty display.
What other words of Jesus might be worth your further consideration?