“…Let us pass over unto the other side.” (Mark 4:35)
“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And [H]e was …asleep on a pillow: and they awake [H]im and say…Master, carest [T]hou not that we perish? (Mark 4:37-38)
“And they came over unto the other side of the sea…” (Mark 5:1)
Mark 4:35 through Mark 5 portray (2) two events. Mark 4:35- Mark 5:1 Finds our Lord setting up an important lesson for His disciples and for us. Mark 5:2 through the end of the chapter demonstrates our Lord’s power and control over demonic entities. This second section describes what a truly possessed person looks like, sounds like, and is able to do. It also shows us what a freed man looks like.
However, we are focused on the first portrait, if you will. In the first important lesson we find our Lord instructing His own that they should enter a ship and cross over to the other side of the sea. This is something they have done many times. This time would be different. In 4:37-38 The disciples run into a horrible storm. This storm must have been very great as the disciples, who were experienced fisherman, fretted for their lives.
These experienced fishermen cried out, and charged the Lord with neglect. Where did they find Him? They found Him in the hinder part of the ship…asleep!!! If you would refer back up to the quoted passages you will find the next quoted verse to say, “And they came over unto the other side of the sea.” The events that occured between 4:38 and 5:1 demonstrate Christ’s power and control over nature. He came above board and commanded the wind, the waves, the storm to, “Peace, be still!” The storm heeded it’s Master’s command. Nature has always heeded it’s Creator; whether it was the light in the beginning, the water that would obey His command and boundaries, or the animals of Noah. Our Lord controls all of nature. This is just one reason to trust Him.
Another reason we can…must trust Him is found in 5:1, Christ stated in 4:36, Let us go over to the other side of the sea…” and in 5:1, “They came over to the other side of the sea. “Another reason we can…must trust Him is His sovereign Word. We will be tested at times on whether or not we trust Him and His Word. The disciples were tested, were they not. James, in his epistle, states as a matter of fact, that the man that is tempted/tested is a blessed or happy man. This truth can be taken (2) two ways. (1st) first, if God is testing you that means you are His own. (2nd) second, if you are tempted by sin, then you are (1) one of God’s for it is the Christ-ian that recognizes sin as sin.
In the perfect world Christ would have said, “Let’s go to the other side…” The storm would have risen, and the disciples would have rested with the Lord. This is not the perfect world. Whether the disciples had feared for their lives or trusted Him with them, the fact remains, He is in control of our lives. His Word must be trusted in order for us to find peace. It is said of God, His Word will not return void but it will accomplish it’s purposes. Since Christ is the Second Person of the Divine Trinity the same is true of Him and the Third Person. When we say that Christ must be trusted we are not saying that we will always be pleased, according to the flesh, with His choices. But, if we walk and live by faith, if we walk and live in the Spirit, we will know it is for our good.
Mark 4:36-Mark 5:1 is a microcosm of the Christ-ian life. At the moment of your salvation God said, essentially, “Let’s go to the other side…” Then, as we walk the Christ-like walk, we face many, many, many, many difficulties (but more joy and peace). We, at times, wonder to ourselves, what’s going on here? We may have asked God, during times of weakness or great stress, “Lord, are you there? Do you care if I perish?” There may have been times that we grow cold in our walk with God, there may be spans of time that we don’t even read and pray…these times ought never to be, reader…these times ought never to be. However, Praise be to God these are fewer than the times of great joy and peace. Those times are far less that the times we adore and enJoy our Lord. The times we say, “O! Praise God,” or “Thank you …my Lord and my God” or the times we simply sit in His Presence with a heart full of joy and gratitude and a giant smile on our face.
And then…………….some sweet day, whether it is at His return or through the grave, we..will…come unto …the other side!!!
Reader, the great storm that caused great fear, gave Christ the opportunity to manifest His great power. This manifestation of great power gave great peace, and increased faith greatly. Great is our God. Again, in this storm, we see our God diguised as a sleeping and silent Man. Was He really sleeping,? some might ask. I wasn’t there, but I would say, “Yes.” Remember in John (8) eight, towards the end of the chapter…the Pharisees aged Christ at, “not yet (50) fifty years old.” The life Christ lived, and the battles He battled, and the wars He waged caused Him to look older than He was and we must infer from this that He was very tired. Therefore, I would conclude that He was sleeping. His sleeping speaks to His humanity, His physical condition, and His complete trust in God, and His complete knowledge of Who He is. The former (3) three descriptors aren’t as attractive to us as are the latter (2) two. The former is a fact, the latter is possible.
A question. Think back to a time…..really….think back to a time that you would describe as terrible, horrible, awful, rough, hard, etc………………………………………………thinking…………………………………….thinking………………………………………………………………………………………thinking…………….Got it? If you are a Christ-ian, I trust that He saw you through it and you saw Him through it. Here’s the question……Was it worth it all? To see Him amidst trial and tribulation…did seeing Him make it worth all the hardship? Only you can answer for you and only I can answer for me. My answer is (1000 x’s) One thousand times, Yes!
My friend, my reader, my brother, my sister, You may be in a storm right now. You may be feeling like your Lord is sleeping and is silent. I can promise you, He is not. The Psalmist says that God never slumbers, nor does He sleep. Yes, Christ slept while on earth, for He was in an un-glorified state of being. He is now in the glorified state and sleep is not needed. Even if He did sleep, He would awaken to the sounding of thy prayer.
Finally, If you truly trust Christ or if you truly believe Him, you will do so until the end of this phase of your eternal life. In other words, if you have at any point, said a prayer, raised a hand, or the like, you were told that you are now saved from Hell. If this is true, you have also been saved from the pleasure of, the power of and someday, the presence of sin. A wise man would examine himself now and ask these questions, 1a. Do I still pleasure in sin or 1b. am I bothered when I sin? Another way to put it is, 1c. Have I ceased to pleasure in the pleasure of sin? 2.Do I have the Spirit-given power to say, “NO!” to sin and temptation? 3a. Has sin become a temptation or 3b. is it still just part of life and is seen as natural?
The above (3) three questions, if answered, ( 1a.N 1b. Y 1c.Y 2.Y 3a.Y 3b. N) speaks to regeneration and true conversion. We will not be sinless in this phase of our eternal life, however, we can sin- less in this phase of our eternal life. As one is regenerated and converted, one will, for the rest of one’s life, trust Christ and Believe Christ and become more and more like Him.