We should all be able to agree with the majority opinion of both secular and biblical historians that we have enough evidence both within and outside of the bible to affirm the historicity of the life, crucifixion, and empty tomb associated with the ministry of Jesus. Additional affirmation of the reality of his life and works includes the fact that many of the apostles who were eyewitnesses of his life and ministry met gruesome deaths proclaiming the reality of the resurrection.
Having this strong evidence supporting the reality of the ministry of Jesus and the claims that he made about himself it is an important to ask the question just how did Jesus recommend we handle the uncertainties, difficulties, and normal stresses that life brings to all of us.
An insightful account from the life of Jesus is found related to us in the book of Mark chapter 4 verses 35-41.
“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
There are many questions one can ask about this event but let’s just focus on four.
- Why were the disciples frightened?
- Why did the disciples wake Jesus?
- Why did Jesus rebuke the disciples?
- What was missing from the disciple’s worldview?
- The disciples apparently realized that the situation was out of their control. They could not stop the waves or the wind and they observed their boat and lives were in jeopardy. They ascertained that unless some force outside their control interceded, they were indeed in trouble.
- Knowing they themselves were helpless to change their situation, they almost certainly remembered that Jesus performed many miracles in their midst and hoped that by waking him perhaps he could do something to help the circumstances.
- Now this is the most interesting question. You would think that Jesus would have been glad to have been awakened so that he could save the lives of the men by calming the storm before the boat was swamped. But instead he rebuked the disciples and calls them faithless. Where did Jesus want them to have their faith? It was not in him at that moment because they did awaken him and he rebuked them.
- What was missing from the disciple’s worldview was faith in the existence of an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God who was with them at that moment in the storm even when Jesus was sleeping. That realization would have made a profound difference and the lack of faith in that reality for the disciples is what I believe Jesus rebuked.
So what storms are brewing in your life? Are you stressed out? Are your circumstances weighing you down? Does life seem burdensome? Perhaps the verse “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God” would helpful to follow. The Christian worldview includes an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God who is not far away but right with us and this is not a hope or a wish but a reality and to say otherwise would make us worthy of rebuke just like the disciples. Jesus knew that his disciples, then and now, needed to understand that God is always available to assist us according to his will and purposes no matter what circumstances come our way.
Let us not be like the disciples during our storms in life and deserve to be rebuked but let us have faith in God through every circumstance in life. This is the kind of worldview that can truly transform your life.
by Karl Yorgey