A Different Kind of Storm (Cornerstone)
Mar 15, 2015 - Rev Paul Rasmussen
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Can you identify with the disciples as they row against the wind? When have you been caught in a storm in life? Did you cry out to Jesus?
Do you hesitate to cry out to Jesus in the midst of a storm? Why? Do you underestimate the power of human initiative in your relationship with God?
Re-read Exodus 33:17-19. What parallels are there between God revealing His glory to Moses and Jesus revealing his glory to the disciples? What differences do you see?
Read Romans 8:38-39. How can these verses reassure you when you are in the midst of a storm?
As you reflect on this passage in Mark, what challenges you about the passage? What comforts you? What insight does the passage give you about God?
This week we continued our sermon series, Mark, journeying through the Gospel of Mark. Rev. Paul Rasmussen focused on a lesson Jesus teaches his disciples about who he is.
Re-read Mark 6:45-52. Jesus has just miraculously fed thousands of people. He then makes his disciples get into a boat and tells them to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. A storm arises and the disciples strain as they row against the wind. Jesus knows that there will be a storm -- he deliberately sends the disciples into trouble. Mark tells us that Jesus sees the disciples struggling and, as he walks on the water to cross the sea, he intends to pass them by. When they see him, they are afraid because they think he is a ghost. They cry out -- in fear, not in faith. In response to their cry, Jesus steps into the boat and the storm ceases.
Jesus sent the disciples into the storm to show them something about himself they don't understand. He was trying to pass his glory before the disciples and show them who he really was by walking on water. The disciples didn't understand that Jesus was God so Jesus walked on water to demonstrate that he is God. Jesus revealed his glory to his disciples who were in the midst of confusion and disbelief.
Like the disciples, we sometimes seem not to understand who Jesus is or maybe we forget who he is. We all face storms -- big tempests and small waves that knock us off balance. Maybe you are straining at the oars right now, rowing against the wind. You may be facing an illness, disappointment, fallout from bad decisions, addiction, financial problems, a broken relationship. Jesus wants you to cry out to him. Our God is a God of compassion. Your voice is enough to get the attention of God.
This passage in the Gospel of Mark shows us that God is holier than we think and closer than we realize. Jesus reveals himself to those who don't believe, to those who doubt, to those who mess up. God is present in our storms, in our difficulty, in our uncertainty.
In Jesus, we have hope, forgiveness, mercy, healing, love, acceptance, new life. Cry out to him. Jesus is there, in your boat, ready to journey with you through the storm.
Blessings and peace in Christ,
Associate Pastor, Cornerstone