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Jesus Savior Pilot Me

July 16, 2018

 

Jesus Savior Pilot Me

Jesus Savior Pilot Me

Joel Adkins / General

Storm / Mark 4:35–41

 

 

 

Mark 4:35–41 ESV

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

In 1987, a pregnant woman, alone, no luggage, delivered a baby. She registered at the hospital as Amy D. Beech. She Gives birth to a baby girl, then disappears 12 hours later.

Baby Girl Beach. A Foundling. Eventually she is Adopted by couple from Idaho.

31 years later, Andrea Napier works in a medical office. At 16 she was told that she was abandoned at the hospital. She gets a Tattoo with the phrase Baby Girl Beech.

She goes hunting for her mother on Facebook.

Eventually, she works with a DNA testing detective and finds and Meets her sister,

She discovers that her birth mother had died in another subsequent childbirth.

Then she finds two brothers, her father, then another, then brothers… then the possibility of 7 siblings.

Her mother had a condition known as Psychotic disassociative disorder… she couldn’t identify with, or claim relationship to- five of her children.

In Alaska a similar story with a different outcome. A woman abandons her baby in 1986. The baby is left and found in a cardboard box next to a salvation army bin.  2 boys find it on their bikes and cycle home- one of them carrying this newborn precariously in his arms.

The baby is Adopted into a family in Idaho. 31 years later, Benjamin Tibiouai.  Ben was involved in the Afghanistan conflict as a tank operator.

On his 11th birthday his parents told him that he was adopted. Again, with the help of a DNA detective, he seeks his biological parents.

He found his father. A decorated Vietnam war veteran, who was 20 minutes away. Who knew nothing about him. Who had no idea he even existed.

He met his father and had an immediate reception and connection. He had 2 brothers. His father told him something very important:  Had his father known about him, he would have wanted him. He would have kept him. It made a huge difference in Benjamin’s life. To be wanted.

He goes looking for his mother…. The search Leads him to 2 sisters, one of whom absolutely was his mother and the other an aunt- but finds they neither want to meet him- but ask him to go away and never return.

And the rejection is real… all the joy of being wanted by his birth father was tarnished by the rejection of not being wanted by his mother.

‘I’m holding on to just a thread of hope… and right now, that’s all I have.” Benjamin said, Pleading on the phone with a woman who may have been his birth mother.

 

Imagine, for a moment, that you are the disciples.  You’ve been with Jesus.  You’ve heard his teaching.  He asks you, in the evening, to cross the lake- to go to the other side.  And you agree.

But half way across the lake, a storm arrives.  Not just any storm- a whopper of a storm.  The boat is beginning to take on water.  And in the midst of certain calamity- in the midst of chaos at sea- Jesus is sleeping.  His head is on the pillow, his body is relaxed, and he has no idea (so we think) that the storm is about to sink the ship.

Please, take the time to note the details.

Mark 4:35–41 ESV

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

just as he was.

other boats

waves were breaking into the boat,

the boat was already filling

sleep on the cushion.

 

Jesus says, “Peace! Be Still!”  and the storm does.  The storm stops, the waves die down, the water is emptied from the boat, all gets sback to normal.  But there’s a new storm.

His Disciples are now upset about Him.  But that will come soon enough.

Note what got them upset in the first place.  “Don’t You care?” 

Does Jesus care that we are in a storm?  I don’t want to discount this question, but I do want you to understand it. 

“Do you not care that we are perishing?”  They sensed not that they were going to be swamped- they sensed that they were going to die.  The word “perishing” means to be utterly destroyed. 

As much as the scriptures talk about the disciples that were fishermen and the stories of the sea, generally the sea was a place of great evil.  Most people did not work on the sea.  In fact, the seas became a symbol of the dark power of evil that threatened to destroy God’s good creation… think like Noah’s flood.  If you read the book of Daniel closely, you come to find that the sea is where monsters come from.  We need to understand this- the sea… and a storm at night played directly into this mindsight.  Noah story, Jonah story, Daniel.  We are going to die.

And so,  the early readers of this gospel would have easily understood what Mark was trying to say in this gospel.  

The forces of evil are real.  The monsters of our deepest fears can be roused from their sleep.  And they can be angry and threatening, much like this storm on the sea. 

And when the storm is its thickest, when the enemy is crouching at the door- the one that wanted the trip in the first place is sound asleep on the front of the boat. 

“Doesn’t He Care?”  This boat is about to go to the bottom of the sea with everyone in it.  We are going to drown and “Don’t you care?”

And Jesus does something remarkable...

Mark 4:39 ESV

And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

We have four children- all 18 months apart.  It doesn’t sound like much, but there was a time when three of the four were in car seats… and the fourth was in a booster car seat.  On the day Rachel was born, I had removed the customized pedastel seats in our van and installed a stock factory bench seat in order to facilitate the room we needed to carry four car seats!

And so I can remember many times when in the back section of our van an argument would erupt, or some disruption would occur, and I would turn my head at a stop light or look in the mirror while going down the highway and try to settle the situation.  And I usually failed.

But Jesus, he is sound asleep with the commotion of a storm on a sea at night.  And when he awakes, with the calmness of a very competent parent speaking to his children- he speaks to all of creation, “Peace! Be still!”  And all of the nature, as far as these fishermen could see- listened.

The Psalms speak a few times about God calming a storm.  The disciples would have been familiar with these, as familiar as they were with the possibility of a storm at night on the Sea of Galilee.

Psalm 65:7 ESV

who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples,

Psalm 89:9 ESV

You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.

Psalm 93:4 ESV

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!

Perhaps most popular would have been Psalm 107.23-30

Psalm 107:23–30 ESV

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

And so, Jesus just speaks the word, “Peace!  Be Still!” 

And the storm stops.  That which a moment ago was dangerously powerful and uncontrollable- was now still.

Wow!

You’ve all heard sermons and Sunday school lessons on this passage.  But please see something here.  When Jesus rescues the disciples from their dire situation, you are seeing  in concrete terms what God’s kingdom is capable of.  

And please see this story in light of the parables that occurred just prior to this.

All of Mark 4 prior to this is about the Kingdom of God.

The Parable of the sower...

A light under a basket.

The parable of the mustard seed.

All parables of what the Kingdom of God is about.

And right in the middle of that Jesus says this in Mark 4:10-12

Mark 4:10–12 ESV

And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “ ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’ ”

The Kingdom.  Here’s what it looks like. 

The most dastardly, difficult power of evil you can imagine… the monsters of the sea, the storm out of nowhere… is about to meet the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom, after all, is at hand… isn’t it?  Its’ not what they expected, but it’s just as powerful and just as real. 

It’s the power that made the world in the beginning, and this power is alive in Jesus Christ, and it’s now acting through Him.  And it subdues the storm, it calms the sea, it overcomes the evil.

I love Colossians 1:15-20

Colossians 1:15–20 ESV

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

But look closely at colossians 1:16.

It tells us that this is who Jesus was- God.  And calming this storm is ample proof of that fact.

This man just spoke three words and a hurricane stopped.  This man just spoke three words and a tornado ceased to exist. 

But what he did isn’t what this is about.

You see, when the storm settles, Jesus takes their question and puts it back on them.  He momentarily speaks to the storm, but his response to the disciples is another question.

Disciples:”Don’t you care that we perish?”

Jesus: “Why Are You Afraid? Have you no faith?”

The meaning is actually, don’t you yet have faith?  I just taught you what to expect from the kingdom in those parables… I told you that the kingdom would be like a field growing in some thirty, sixty, ninety fold.  It would be a bright light that could not be hidden… it would be like a seed- growing in your hearts and minds!  And this faith in you would bring  God’s kingdom to bear on the earth through the people who believe- YOU!  

YOU! 

Remember, the outsiders have parables because they can’t see what you know because you believe! 

So, making a storm settle down is nothing!  This is child’s play. 

What would happen if believers- people of faith- actually lived into the storms of their lives and of our world as if they meant it?  The kingdom would come to bear!

ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN!!!

Disciples: Have you no faith yet? That storm is only a piece of what I’ve been preparing you for!  Find your faith!

 

Disciples: Where’s your faith.

You see, this isn’t at all about what Jesus did- it’s about who He is.  It’s about who we believe He is.  It’s about our faith in Him to make it through the storm- and our faith in Him to prepare for the storm- and our faith in Him when the storm’s gone by.

 

Mark wanted his readers- frightened and frail people sailing into the storm of their life- to find faith in Jesus.  Mark wanted them to wake Jesus up in that storm.   Mark wanted them to question Jesus’ lack of concern for them.  Mark wanted them to be angry with Jesus for the storm he had gotten them into!

Because only then could Jesus turn to them after the storm had passed- and ask them when they were going to be serious about their faith.  When were they going to have faith to live as well as perish with?

Jesus died on a cross.  In that moment, scripture tells us that he carried our griefs and our sorrows.  He carried every storm that we have ever or will ever encounter.  He went there ahead of us.  He knows what needs to be navigated and he made it through before we even heard the weather forecast!

 

A Harbor Pilot is a mariner who guides ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbors or river mouths. Pilots are expert ship handlers who possess detailed knowledge of local waterways.

Pilots specifically use pilotage techniques relying on nearby visual reference points and local knowledge of tides, swells, currents, depths and shoals that might not be readily identifiable on nautical charts without first hand experience in the waters in question. 

There’s an old hymn:

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee;
  Jesus, Savior, pilot me.   

2

As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boist’rous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say’st to them, “Be still.”
Wondrous Sov’reign of the sea,
  Jesus, Savior, pilot me.   

3

Though death’s valley I may pass,
Still Thy grace will fear surpass;
In Thy presence I will rest,
And, while leaning on Thy breast,
I will hear Thee say to me,
  “Fear not, I will pilot thee.”

 

Who’s navigating your storm?  Who’s making your way? Jesus knows the path and the process- He’s been in that storm you’re waiting to find… and he knows how to navigate it. 

 

 

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