Big Read 2012: Week 2: Echoes “Calming the storm” @BigBible #BigRead12

In Mark 4: 35-41, we see Jesus command power over creation when he calms a storm. Whilst this echoes that of creation and of the rescue of the Israelites in the Old Testament, what seems most interesting is the reaction of the disciples. Do we ever react the same way? This is where we began with our discussion at Small Group this week, as part of the Big Read 2012 Lent Course on Mark’s Gospel, with Tom Wright.

During the storms of life, can we forget that Jesus is already in the boat?! Jesus said to the disciples “Let us go to the other side.” – He knew they were going to make it there. He committed to the journey, knowing fully that they would reach the other side. He was in the boat! When we take the step to follow Jesus, wherever He wants to take us, He gets in the boat with us. Then, when all hell breaks loose, do we panic like the disciples?

So, Jesus lay sleeping in the stern of the ship on his cushion – comfortable and calm. Meanwhile the disciples are up on deck panicking as a great storm swells around them. It seems quite clear that the disciples either don’t yet know fully who Jesus is, or that in their panic they’ve forgotten! They can’t understand how Jesus can sleep through this and wake Him, asking “Don’t you care we’ll drown!?”. Is this similar to when we’re going through big storms in life? Do we feel like we need to wake Jesus?

Jesus’ reaction on waking up is also interesting. Is He telling the disciples off? To us, it seemed that there was an element of Jesus’ rebuking the disciples – teaching them to have more faith. We agreed you don’t tell children off to make them feel bad, you do it to build them up and help them to grow. And Jesus does calm the storm, He makes it ok that they had to bail out of the situation early! It makes it ok for us to say, I can’t go on in this storm any longer. At the end of the day, there’s a difference between asking God for help and not trusting Him.

If God gets in the boat at the start of the journey, He’s there when the storm hits and He’s ready to intervene when we can’t weather it any longer.

Megan Paull

Megan is a qualified Adult Nurse and has a passion for others' wellbeing and care. She enjoys reading, getting involved with church activities and pub quizzes! She has worked in the Church as a youth worker and currently leads a small group at her current church, St Paul's City Centre Church in Newport, South Wales. Her favourite Bible verse is 1 John 3:16 - "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."