Andrew Fountain - Trusting Jesus in the Storm

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Sermon notes - Trusting Jesus in the Storm

I want to tell a story from Mark and see how it spoke to me and can speak to you.

  • Overview of the 7 steps
    • Pray!
  • tell the story dramatically
  • empathize with disciples
  • Here is the remains of an actual fishing boat from that time, that archeologists have found.

First Century Boat

First Century Boat

Image source: link

First Century Boat Model

First Century Boat Model

Image source: link

  • They have reconstructed what it probably looked like

Dusk over the Sea of Galilee

Dusk over the Sea of Galilee

Image source: link

  • This story takes place at the Sea of Galilee, a place where violent storms can suddenly arise

Mark 4:35–41

  1. On the same day, when evening had come, he said to them,
    “Let us cross over to the other side.”
  2. Now when they had left the multitude, they took him along in the boat as he was. And other little boats were also with him.
  3. And a great windstorm arose,
    and the waves beat into the boat,
    so that it was already filling.
  4. But he was in the stern, asleep on a pillow…

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee - 1695 by Ludolf Bakhuizen

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee - 1695 by Ludolf Bakhuizen

Image source: link

1. The Story

  • It was evening, Jesus was probably exhausted, and they needed to get away from the crowds.
  • A great storm came up
    • Galilee: Mountains & Lake, sudden storms
  • But these were hardened sailors, this must have been even larger than...
  • These men who earned their living on this lake, were now afraid for their lives.
  • The boat was beginning to fill with water, but Jesus was lying there asleep.
  • What would you have done?

Mark 4:35–41 cont’d

  1. …And they awoke him and said to him,
    “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
  2. Then he arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”
    And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
  3. But he said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
  4. And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another,
    “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey him!”

Questions...

  • What would you have done??
  • What did they do that was so wrong??
  • What should they have done??
  • Well, first of all, it was wrong to accuse him like that:
    [“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”]
  • To start with as I studied this passage, I thought that it was right for them to wake him, but it was the way they woke him that was wrong.
  • But now I think it was wrong for them to wake him at all—it showed that they didn’t really believe that he was God.
    • After all the miracles he did...
    • Was if even possible that God would be drowned in a little lake in Palestine??
  • I’d like to switch over now to thinking about us, and our storms:

2. What are storms for us?

  • early church, persecution symbol: boat symbol
  • We may have dramatic storms
    • Physical Storms -
      •Sickness or Injury,
      • Death (my Brother’s wife)
    • Relationship problems -
      •Unfair treatment from others
      •Unpleasant boss at work, or teacher who makes things hard for us
      •devastating marriage break-ups (parents)
      •painful break-up of a friendship
    • Persecution because of what we believe
  • Some storms are not so dramatic, but can cut us very deeply, maybe over a long period of time, eating into us
  • Sickness with throat 83% cancer
  • Cam & Olesia travel problem
  • immigration issue
  • Personal betrayal—those who you think love and care about you stab you in the back
    • Suddenly you discover a whole lot of evil directed against you
  • but I don’t want to give the idea that God always rescues Christians from problems
    • What if the answer is different?

3. Christian’s problems in Storms

  • We have seen what the disciples did, and we have seen the kinds of storms that we have in this life.
    Now I want to look at what we should do in storms.
  • When these trials of life come upon us, what do we do ??
  • Almost all Christians pray—I’m sure you pray, but what sort of prayer is it?
  • If God doesn’t answer straight away, then our prayer may become
    • resigned,...
    • or desperate...
    • or demanding
    • or even accusing God... [as here]
  • Even if we don’t actually say it, underneath we may feel
    “God doesn’t really care”
    • I think that every single one of us has thought this at some time.
  • We believe he can help us, so why doesn’t he?
  • Do we see God as a distant parent figure?
    • He desires our good in a dull kind of way,
    • after all he has saved us so he must want our good in some sort of way
  • But if we left our lives totally up to him— (we feel:)
    • we could never go out for the evening, or have new clothes or anything new, or nice food, or anything that is not absolutely essential
    • God doesn’t understand how we feel and our deep needs?
    • Is that how we think??
  • Most of all, God doesn’t understand about our need to be loved by others, our need for close friendship.
    • Is that how we feel?? Can we trust him here??
    • Can God be trusted in the deep areas of our lives?
    • We can end up with the attitude:
      • I’ll look after my needs right now, God can look after my eternal spiritual wellbeing
  • It would be easy for me to tell you glibly that
    • “God will help you in the storms of life, just pray and everything will be OK!”
  • Our problem is because God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers the way we want him to, we assume he doesn’t care
  • But here is the core of the problem
  • Many times I wanted God to behave in a certain way
    • and to my shame I was cross with him and felt that he didn’t care
  • I wanted God to behave in a certain way and he didn’t
    • does he really care for me?

Romans 8:31–32

  1. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  2. He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
  • All good things?
  • Yes, faith is believing that!
    • But he does know your deepest needs and desires
    • He really cares! About you!
  • What about faith?
  • extend the drama to the next three
    • Next story - the man with 1000 demons
    • The woman with a flow of blood for 12 years
    • The dead girl
  • Where is the faith? -is it necessary?
    • Men who brought the paralysed man —it was their faith
    • Could do few miracles in his home town —his supernatural power was not limited, they simply didn’t bring people
  • Jairus’s faith—little, but enough
  • Faith is not some kind of energy that powers the miracle
    • so that you need enough of it to make the miracle happen.
    • All the power comes from Jesus
  • It is simply the trust that brings you to Jesus!
    • So no faith was needed for Legion, the demon-posessed man—he was already there
    • Jarius had enough faith to fetch Jesus. Although he didn’t think Jesus could raise the dead, his faith had already brought Jesus, so it was enough
    • The disciples had little faith, but it was enough to for them to have joined with Jesus
      • So because of that, Jesus was in the boat with them
      • and that made all the difference!
  • Jesus says we only have to have faith as big as a tiny mustard .seed
    • But they must have had some faith, mustn’t they??
    • After all, they were hardened sailors and he was a carpenter, and they went to him for help!!
  • Be encouraged! I was!
  • Tim Keller’s story
    • The universe is so vast—God is not your personal assistant
    • so beware of that attitude
  • I want to continue with the story of Mark...

Mark’s Big Story

  • Each part starts with a theme story for that section
  • The end is marked with a similar story

A. The Kingdom Launched in Power
1:1–6:29

  • John the Baptist & the first followers
    • Kingdom Power & Conflict
    • Kingdom Teaching
    • -Parables of the sower, the lamp, the mystery of growth & the mustard seed
    • -Four miracles: storm, legion & the pigs, Woman who is sick 12 years…
    • Culminates with raising the dead
  • Followers sent out & John dies

B. Greater miracles & more challenging teaching
6:30–8:21

  • Jesus feeds 5000
    • Walks on water
    • Declares all food clean
    • Heals in a Gentile city!
    • Dramatic healing of deaf man
  • Feeds 4000, but disciples “still do not understand”

How Mark fits together

 
 

 
 

 
 

Greater miracles, challenging teaching
B. 6:30–8:21

Kingdom Launched in Power
A. 1:1–6:29

C. From blindness to seeing—The Big Revelation
8:22–10:52

  • Blind man receives sight in two stages
    • Peter sees that Jesus is the Messiah
    • Disciples see Jesus’ glory
    • Sell everything and follow Jesus
    • Jesus reveals three times that he is going to die and rise again but the disciples don’t get it
  • Blind Bartimaeus receives sight

How Mark fits together

 
 

 
 

The Big Revelation
C. 8:22–10:52

Greater miracles, challenging teaching
B. 6:30–8:21

Kingdom Launched in Power
A. 1:1–6:29

D. Jesus visits the Temple, predicting he’ll replace it
11:1–13:37

  • Jesus comes to the temple and finds no fruit
    • Parable of the fruitless vineyard. Jesus is the new cornerstone
    • Two attempts to trap Jesus with words
    • Jesus responds, pointing out some good fruit
    • The Temple will be destroyed
  • Jesus will return one day, so stay alert!

E. “Truly this man is the Son of God”
14:1–16:8

  • A woman comes to anoint Jesus
    • Last supper, and betrayal
    • Prayer and betrayal in Gethsemane
    • Jesus is tried and Peter denies him
    • Jesus is tried by Pilate
    • Jesus is crucified and a centurion believes
  • Women come to anoint Jesus, but he has been raised from the dead

How Mark fits together

This man is the Son of God
E. 14:1–16:8

Replacing the Temple
D. 11:1–13:37

The Big Revelation
C. 8:22–10:52

Greater miracles, challenging teaching
B. 6:30–8:21

Kingdom Launched in Power
A. 1:1–6:29

6. But what if Jesus is not in your boat?

  • What if you have never trusted him?
  • What if you think your life is far too important to trust everything to some invisible being ?
  • Well, the news is very bad
  • Your ship will sink
  • You may seem to be doing very well, sailing along with no worries,
    • but there is a storm coming that has never failed to sink a ship
    • and that is the storm of death
    • Only those who have Christ in their boats can defeat death, for he defeated it when he rose from the dead.
    • After death comes the judgement and that is the biggest storm of all

But Jesus offers:

  • to be in your ship -> unsinkable
  • even in the storm of death —He died and rose again
  • even in the storm of judgement —He has already paid the penalty on the cross-, and the resurrection was a declaration of vindication
  • -Do you intend to weather life’s storms alone?
  • -Do you reject his kind offer?
  • -to be with you through thick and thin
  • don’t reject him
  • ask him to come and take over your boat
  • trust him that he is good and loving as well as infinitely powerful
  • pray to him and don’t give up till you know he is within you with his resurrection power.
  • What did God say to me personally throught this passage?
    • The whole of your life is in some way like this voyage
    • You are worried if it will count for anything?
    • Will it be wasted like a boat sunk in a storm?
    • No, because I am in your boat!

Updated on 2017-09-26 by Andrew Fountain