In our guided journey through Scripture, we finally come this week to the New Testament. In the coming weeks, we will read through Mark’s gospel account. Unfolding Grace introduces us to this next section by showing Jesus as the connecting point between Old and New:
“The Gospel of Mark announces that Jesus fulfills all of these ancient promises and expectations. He is the long-awaited King and the Lord God Himself. And He declares, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’
Mark shows us who Jesus is and what He has come to do. Mark sets our eyes on Jesus. He invites us to trust Jesus, receive His forgiveness, and follow Him.”
Wednesday, August 4th
Larger Portion of Scripture - Mark 1-4
Focused Passage for Reflection - Mark 4:35-41
Reflecting on the Text:
It feels like stormy weather out there…or at least it feels like stormy times. COVID is kicking back up. Debates and divisions still rage on. Tensions are high. And all of it was summarized in a simple yet profound prayer request I recently received. A friend shared, “I just feel the heaviness.” How is a Christian supposed to handle the storms of life?
In Mark 4, the disciples encountered an actual storm. They were traveling across the sea on a relatively small boat. The winds kicked up as the storm began to rage. Their boat rocked and filled, and fear, no maybe terror, began to well up in their hearts. All the while, Jesus slept.
Does it ever feel like Jesus is sleeping? We are quiet when we sleep. It was the same with Jesus, which meant He wasn’t speaking into their fears. So, in His quietness, the disciples filled in the blanks for themselves. “Don’t you care about us!” (That’s what they said.) “You aren’t powerful enough to save us!” (...is what they feared) At least, that is, until they saw true power.
Jesus quieted the wind and stilled the sea, all with a few words and the flick of His wrist. Now that was true power, and the disciples realized it. Their fear of the storm gave way to a greater fear…or greater awe!
But here is the thing. They were no safer after the storm than they were during it. Jesus was present, even in His silence. His presence was enough for them, and us…regardless of the storms raging around us. So the question is, in the midst of stormy weather, will we have the faith to turn our focus to Him?
Questions for personal reflection:
Where are you struggle with fear amid a stormy season?
Where is your focus when you feel the fear taking over?
How might you turn your focus to Jesus?