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Mark’s first-century biography – page 15

On that day, when evening had come, he (Jesus of Nazareth, c. AD 30, near the Sea of Galilee) said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 

Reading the words “On that day”, one immediately asks, “What day and what was special about it?” That day was the day on which Jesus told three parallels about the kingdom of God on earth. That day was the day when he said to his disciples, “Do you not understand this (the sower) parallel? How then will you understand all the parallels?” 

Maybe this incident, “on that day” should therefore be regarded also as being a parallel? It did take place, but maybe, later, it taught those disciples something more than the fact that Jesus had the ability to calm storm and sea. 

Thinking later about it, did they recall that theirs was a night-time journey and that Jesus had emphasized that they were going “across to the other side”?
And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 

The disciples took over and they took Jesus with them on this darkness journey to “the other side”. The parallel must not be stretched to imply in any way that Jesus was not also with others in their boats – so Mark writes (seemingly illogically) “other boats were with him”.

And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, on the cushion, asleep.

Yes, even when Jesus was in the boat, great storms and winds arose on the journey to the other side. And the waters threaten to engulf. And Jesus seems totally uncaring. In fact, Jesus was behind them (“in the stern”) but, as it appeared to them, going to sleep upon the head-rest there….

‘We turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them.’ (Charles C West) 
And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and censured the wind and said to the sea, “Be quiet! Be silent!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 

That night the wind and the wave obeyed the will and instruction of Jesus. His will and his words and his results were one and the same. 

He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you not yet have belief?” And they feared a great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Those events must have been a turning point for Jesus’ disciples. They had been near to death by drowning through a great storm. The miracle working Jesus whom they were following had seemed unconcerned about it all. 


He wasn’t unconcerned – all this took place to achieve what was his greatest concern for them – and for all people as expressed in his question, “Do you not yet have belief? The disciples, at that stage, clearly did not yet “have belief”. But this “belief” was what he wanted them to have. Is it possible that all this took place for that reason?

Are even our nightmares coming true in our real lives intended to bring us to believe in Jesus?

‘God would never permit evil if he could not bring good out of evil.’ (Thomas Watson, preacher and author, 1620-1686) 
Wonderfully, the disciples indicated that they had started down that road because of their experiences that night. They said “Who then is this?”

Who is this? Who is the one whom even the wind and the sea obey?

Who is the one who, on a journey with him in the boat, despite the darkness of night, the fierce winds and the tempestuous seas, did ensure that their joint destination “across to the other side” was safely reached?

Sinner Syvret

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