Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional March 21, 2014

Scripture

Mark 4:35-41

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" 39 He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" 41 And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

Devotional

Jesus returns to the sea. There are so many phrases that are worthy of thought in this passage, but for today, it’s worth just thinking about that image of the sea. Throughout our journey in Mark, Jesus has turned to the sea for refuge and protection. We haven’t seen Jesus rest often in the book of Mark. We’ve seen him healing into the night, and praying before sunrise, but this is the first time in the book that we’ve actually seen Jesus sleeping. This first moment of rest comes in the midst of a storm on the sea.  Even as “the waves beat into the boat,” Jesus finds comfort and solace for the first time. Naturally, the disciples immediately interrupt him. When he wakes, Jesus offers two rebukes. The first is to the sea, the second is directed at the disciples who feared it. After all this time, all the escapes to the sea, the disciples still don’t realize that the man in the boat is more powerful than the storms without.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.