Focal Passage: Mark 4:35-41
Do you ever have weird, nonsensical dreams? If yes, do you know why? Not long ago I had such a dream. I was in college, it was a few weeks into the semester and there was a class I had not yet attended. I struggled to get out of bed and go to class.
My worry was that if I went, it wouldn’t matter. I would have already failed.
As I awoke out of my nightmare, I shook my head and said, “What in the world was that about?”
It has been almost four decades since I’ve been in college, and I was always a conscientious student. All that is clear to me about this peculiar dream is that it described some fear stirring inside.
I’m convinced that many dreams reflect our fears.
I’m also convinced the two things we fear most are failure and death. And while the vast majority of our fears never materialize, when they do crop up, they often paralyze or destroy us.
Our text describes what started out as a normal evening in the life of Jesus and His disciples.
Jesus had been preaching and teaching and healing, and now it was time to travel across the Sea (Lake) of Galilee where Jesus would begin a new chapter in His ministry the next day. Exhausted, Jesus nestled in the back of the boat and promptly fell asleep.
Their boat was solid, the crew was well versed in water navigation protocols and Jesus was with them. No need to fear, right? Somewhere across the sea, however, a monstrous storm erupted. Gigantic waves pounded the boat, and even the hardiest of sailors among them feared death was imminent (v. 38b).
Jesus did, then, what He always seemed to do. He heard their cry and came to their rescue. He ordered the violent and deadly waves to cease, and the crisis was averted. Then Jesus asked a most telling and embarrassing question (v. 40b): “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” Jesus’ message to us is “Don’t fear. Trust Me completely.”