© March 17, 2017 | Schulter Etyang
Mark 6:45-52 (NKJV)
Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.
The KJV version says that Jesus constrained or forced His disciples to get into the boat and head out to sea. This is so unlike Jesus. He is not forceful at all but in this case, He was. The command almost had a sense of urgency to it.
While at sea, the disciples experienced a fierce storm but kept on rowing. You should know that among these disciples were expert fishermen. Peter, James and John were fishermen before Jesus called them into the ministry. I am sure they were the ones in charge of the whole operation. You wouldn’t let Matthew the tax collector or Judas the money grabber run the show, wouldn’t you? haha…
These experienced fishermen kept on rowing. Mark you, they were experienced enough to know that it is futile to row in a stormy sea. Actually, you expend too much energy doing nothing. You row hard but the storms are too fierce for the boat to make headway. At this point, the disciples were now depending on their own “abilities or expertise” to keep the boat afloat.
Rowing in this story is a picture of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness morphs itself in these ways – I can save myself, I am my own savior, I can do it myself, I can produce results, it all depends on me, I trust myself to do it, I can take care of this myself, I am self-made, I got what it takes, I am the master of my own destiny, I am the captain of my ship, DIY perhaps. Notice the recurring “I”.
It is funny how Jesus would have passed them (Vs. 49). As long as they rowed, (I can save myself, I am my own savior, I can do it myself, I can produce results, it all depends on me, I trust myself to do it, I can take care of this myself, I am self-made, I got what it takes, I am the master of my own destiny, I am the captain of my ship, DIY perhaps) Jesus was like, “you are on your own.”
I was just thinking…
Could it be that Jesus has “forced” you into that “storm” to expose your self-righteousness AKA I can save myself, I am my own savior, I can do it myself, I can produce results, it all depends on me, I trust myself to do it, I can take care of this myself, I am self-made, I got what it takes, I am the master of my own destiny, I am the captain of my ship, DIY perhaps.
Could it be that the “storm” has been allowed so that you can experience His saving power? Because without the storm, you do not need Him to save you.
Could it be that the “storm” is an opportunity for you to invite Jesus into your boat i.e. Life, ministry, business, career, marriage, parenting, health, finances, relationships, education, etc.? So that He can save you before He calms the storm.
Could it be that actually, the “storm” is working for you?
Stop cursing your storms, challenges, or even your enemies. Jesus has allowed them so that you can experience His saving power. Without this, you would never know His amazing power to save. The storm was a perfect set-up for them to know that He saves and rescues us in every single moment of our lives. Your storms, challenges, or even your enemies are a perfect set-up for you to know that He saves and rescues you all the time.
Jesus even saves us from the storms of our own making. He does. In this case, the storm was caused by outside forces. But He also saves us when we are the cause of the storms.
One other thing happens when you experience His saving power – you will be greatly amazed and marvel. (Vs.51) Your awe for God goes into another level because of what He does for you. Do you want those “aha” “out of your mind moments”? Stop rowing and let Jesus save you. Stop depending on your “I’s” and let Him do His thing.
That’s what grace looks like