The Reading: Mark 4:35-41
“Peace! Be still!” (v.39) RSV
Matthew, Mark and Luke all say that Jesus “rebuked the wind and the sea”, but only Mark records what he said: “Peace! Be still!” He did not pray. In fact he had been asleep and was to all intents and purposes unprepared. He was woken suddenly by panic stricken and accusatory disciples and told to sort it! (v.38)
What would we have done? Become annoyed? Told them that God doesn’t control the weather just for us? Entered into intense and fervent prayer? Or would we have spoken to the elements? God wants US to have dominion of the earth. He has given us that authority. It is faithless to keep on banging at Heaven to get God to do something about it. He has (in Christ) given US the tools to do the job.
Desperate, pleading prayer can be an act of faithlessness! Yes, that may seem a bold statement. But Jesus prayed in order to see what God was doing and then to do it. And he prayed in order to hear what God was saying, and then say it. Prayer is not so much to get God to act, but rather to be so in tune with Him that we do his work with him. We are meant to be growing up to be His co-workers, not to remain His dependants.
It is by “saying the word” that God created the world, and similarly it is by “saying the word” that Jesus performed his ministry. We are to follow in his footsteps and continue his works. Remember how the Roman Centurion wanted Jesus to heal his sick servant? He sent messengers to bring Jesus to his house, but before he arrived he sent out others to stop him: “I am not worthy that you should come into my house. Say the word only and my servant shall be healed.” Jesus extolled this man for his great faith.
Are we prepared to take courage, and having first heard what God is wanting to do, bring it to pass by speaking the word?
Lord this is awesome news. Help us to take up the weapons that you have given to us. Your word is powerful and active, and is the means by which you achieve your purposes. Keep us from wrongful and selfish use of this authority, but forgive us when we fail to take responsibility and to take charge. Amen.
1 When did God first give dominion to Man?
2 What authority did Jesus give to his disciples?