Thursday, May 04, 2006

Flipping through Mark's Photo Album

Reading Mark is like flipping through an old photo album - the pictures describe the events. In Mark 4 Jesus is sailing across the Sea of Galilee when the winds pick up and the waves begin to flow over the sides. Jesus' disciples are panicking while Jesus is sleeping on a cushion. It is a picture you stare at for a while, trying to grasp the moment. Waves are submerging the boat, disciples are panicking as they run with buckets trying to undo the damage of the storm, the winds are gusting wildly, and Jesus is sleeping, not on a hard bench but comfortably on a cushion.

As we close the photo album, we are struck with this precious truth: God's care is so great that we may be in the middle of the storms of life and fall asleep on a cushion, resting in God's sovereign gracious care. In the middle of the storm, Jesus trusted God's care and could find rest.

We have seen this picture before many times. David writes in Psalm 23 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Elisha is surrounded by an army of Midianites but they do not compare to the army of heavenly angels sent by God; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego have an angel in the fiery furnace; and so on.

You may say, Well, Jesus is God so he should be able to sleep. But Mark gives another picture and that is, if you were to watch them go into the boat, Jesus would look like all the rest. In fact Mark writes: Leaving the crowd behind, they took [Jesus] along, just as he was, in the boat. Mark makes sure we understand that Jesus slept, not because he was God, but slept just as he was - in other words, fully as a human.

The question the disciples asked was: Jesus, do you care? Jesus not only stood up and said, Be still to the wind and the waves, he also slept on a cushion in the midst of the storm. Jesus' care comes not only in power and strength as one who controls the wind and the waves, but in a deep faith that His Father cares. Does Jesus care for you as His child? Enough to allow us to flip through his photo album and see him sleeping on a cushion when the waves and winds blew.

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