The Reading: Mark 4:35-41
“… just as he was …” (v.36) RSV
Mark gives us by far the best description of this event on the Sea of Galilee. No doubt he got it straight from the mouth of Peter. That fisherman would have provided those telling insights that only an eye witness could give. Over the coming weeks we will note at least four phrases that Mark has which neither Matthew nor Luke mention in their accounts (Matthew 8:18, 23-27, Luke 8:22-25).
“Just as he was” is so significant. We have read that a great wonder and work of power had taken place, and we would naturally think that Jesus must have spent hours in prayer ‘psyching’ himself up for the ‘miracle’. However we read that he was totally unprepared. In fact he was dog tired. All day long (“on that day” v.35) he had been teaching the people with parables, and then he had explained the parables to his disciples. He now suggested that they take him across to the other side of the Lake in order to get away and get some rest.
If we read on (Mark 5:1-12) we see that when they do reach the other side there is no rest even then; they are met by the Gadarene demoniac – more work, more deeds of power.
When we are totally exhausted and are looking forward to escaping to a rest we are not usually at our best if things then start to go wrong! Unlike a tube of toothpaste when squeezed we do not exude smooth ‘toothpaste’, but something far less pleasant. Yet Jesus was always at rest, always in the Spirit, and always ready to respond positively to any circumstances. He was like those batteries we used to have called ‘Eveready’.
Even in his physical weakness Jesus found that God’s strength was perfect. We too need to claim the ever ready presence of God by his Holy Spirit in our lives. “Jesus, Jesus” we need to pray when aroused. We too will then be ready.
Lord, forgive us when we are not resting and being revived in the Spirit. Teach us afresh that you never leave us nor forsake us. Lord, be thou my strength. Amen
1 How did Jonah react after his ministry in Nineveh?
2 How did Elijah recover/react from his defeat of the prophets of Baal?
1 Kings 19:3-10
3 How did David respond to the challenge of Goliath?
1 Samuel 17:38-46