[0:00] seeking the Lord's blessing and help. Let us turn to the portion of scripture that we read in Mark chapter 4 and reading at verse 35. 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. Another boat was with him and a great windstorm arose and the waves were breaking into the boat so 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.
[0:50] 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 wind and sea obey him. We have four gospels and each gospel have their own distinctive feature. For instance most agree that Matthew's gospel says for Jesus as king and his kingdom. Luke's gospel says for the son of man and the humanity of Jesus. John's gospel says for how Jesus is the son of God how he is divine. However we find that a distinctive feature of the gospel of Mark is the servanthood of Jesus. There is no mention in the gospel of Mark regarding the birth of Jesus. Instead Mark begins by describing the adult life of Jesus. He tells of John the Baptist who predicts the coming of a man more powerful than himself. The focus of the gospel is more on the deeds of Jesus rather than on the words of
[2:14] Jesus. For instance there are around 19 miracles in Mark's gospel more than we find in any of the other gospels. But there are only four or five parables. Mark describes Jesus as always on the move and is ministry touched Jerusalem and the cross. Jesus in Mark's gospel is a man of action and so we see how Mark moves so quickly from one scene to another. Another feature that we find in the gospel of Mark is that it is a gospel or good news for the Gentiles. He uses Roman terms because he is writing to Gentile people within the Roman Empire. That will we find that he explains and make words with language while we're spoken in the days of Jesus because Gentiles would not have understood them. Such words as we have in the following chapter in chapter five where we find
[3:24] M. St. Talita Kumi which he explains as little girl I say to you arise. He explains these terms.
[3:37] And there aren't many Old Testament quotes to be found either in the gospel of Mark because the Gentiles would not have been familiar with the Old Testament. They would not have been familiar with any quotes really from the Old Testament. It is generally accepted that Mark is the earliest of the four gospels written between 40 to 50 AD while the other gospels were written between 60 to 100 AD. So the gospel of Mark is the first gospel. Most in the early church believe that what we have in Mark's gospel is really the memory of the apostle Peter that what we have in Mark's gospel is really Peter's gospel. We know that there was a very close friendship between Peter and Mark.
[4:38] In 1 Peter chapter five verse 13 Peter calls Mark his son. His son. We believe that it was this close friendship between them that motivated Mark to write what we have here under his name, what we have here in the gospel of Mark. The gospel was written as we noted to Gentile people when Christians, though followers of Jesus, were facing persecution. Now if Peter was the source of the information that we have in the gospel of Mark it is likely that the gospel was written in Rome where we know that Peter and Mark met each other in Rome. So it is against this background of Rome and persecution that the gospel of Mark is written.
[5:35] Now briefly who was Mark then? Well Mark was a Roman name which means hammer but he also has a Jewish name which was John which means the grace or the gift of God so that his full name was John Mark. It is suggested that the young man that we read of in this gospel in chapter 14 where we have these words and a young man followed him with nothing but telling in cloth about his body and his system but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked. Many believe that that is a reference to Mark. For this instance it's only found in the gospel of Mark and some say that this is small square saying that it is he who has written the gospel. When we come to the book of Acts in chapter 12 when Peter was released from the prison by an angel we read there he came to the house of
[6:41] Mary the mother of John whose surname was Mark where many people were gathered together praying. We must remember that this was a dangerous time for Christians in Jerusalem so that the home of John Mark became a meeting place for Christians to meet. We also know from Paul's letter to the Colossians that Mark was a cousin of Barnabas and that John Mark along with Barnabas accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey but something happened for in Acts 13 we read that John Mark departed from them returning to Jerusalem. He abandoned them for whatever reason and he returned back to Jerusalem. We must remember that John Mark was a young man and maybe he found it too much for him and decided that he had enough and so he returned back to Jerusalem. It leaves one ready to conclude because of that that John Mark was a failure. Whatever it was that made him return to
[8:01] Jerusalem it later caused a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas and the contention was so great between Paul and Barnabas that the departed company the one from the other Barnabas took John Mark and sailed to Cyprus and we lose sight of John Mark for many years but whatever caused him to abandon Paul and Barnabas in the ministry and serve in the church we find in his life a great restoration and testimony given to us by Paul regarding John Mark. We read in Philharmon verse 24 that among those whom Paul called his fellow labourer is the name of Mark. Later we find that Paul would ask Timothy to bring John Mark back with him to Rome because he was useful to him in the service of the Lord. Here is a young man John Mark who as far as we are concerned as we read of him in Acts 15 he's a failure he is a disappointment and we may conclude that his
[9:17] Christian service is over but the grace of God turned this man so that now he is profitable for the ministry and is called to be one of the writers of the gospel and so we have here before us tonight the gospel of Mark. We must never judge any person even if they have failed in some aspects of Christian service for we must never underestimate what the grace of God can do in a person's life. We have been given an account of Mark's failure but we have also been given an account of Mark's restoration. This should be as lengthening to any person who may feel themselves to be failure and a disappointment in the service of God. How God by his grace can mold us to be profitable in the ministry and in the service of the church. There can be many failures in the Christian life many bad slidings but the Lord is always ready to receive and to restore us graciously despite our failure if we turn to him in confession and in repentance.
[10:41] We also see how Paul accepted John Mark and we must also have that christening spirit that Paul showed in receiving and accepting those who may have failed those who may have brought disappointment but who have confessed that and who have come in repentance. Mark who in the past have failed but by the grace of God he is now restored and gives to us this gospel. Now here in this chapter it is told to us that Jesus often spoke in parables. He took human things to unknown things to communicate to us spiritual truth. We have at the beginning of chapter four. I believe also that historical events in the Bible conveys spiritual truths like the Passover. Paul writes to the church at Corinth and he says Christ's Passover has been sacrificed for us. He makes use of that old testament ordinance to convey to us spiritual truth that is applicable in the new testament. I would like this evening to take this historical event that is recorded for us in the passage that we have taken as our text where Jesus comes a storm. I would like to take that passage to convey spiritual truths. Now firstly we must remember that the passage before us this evening teaches us about the sovereignty of God and it also teaches us that the Lord is all powerful. That the Lord is all powerful. He has authority over nature and in the following chapter, chapter five we see his authority over demons and over sickness and over death.
[13:00] We must have that to the forefront of our thoughts tonight that the passage before us brings to our attention the sovereignty of God and the power the all powerful Lord.
[13:16] This passage is the first of three book scenes that we have in the gospel. We have another book scene in chapter six and chapter eight. But this evening while remembering those lessons of the sovereignty and the power of our Lord I am going to look at the passage and take the ship as a symbol, as a type of the Church of Christ. The crew as a type of believer and as dormants representing the trials that the Church has to endure. In other words I'm going to use this as a picture of the Church of Christ and the trials and difficulties and testings that the Church has to endure or believers have to endure. The first thing is that the believer is on a journey which can be beset with many storms, with many difficulties and many trials and many testings. We notice here that the voyage started calmly enough but then the weather started getting rough and the tiny ship was tossed around. The lake of Galilee is subject to certain storms situated as it is some 700 feet below sea level and adjacent to mountainous regions. So Galilee was the perfect place for a perfect storm.
[14:56] This particular storm was as powerful as any that the disciples had ever seen. Remember that Peter, Andrew and James and John were experienced fishermen by trade and had spent most of their lives in these waters yet they had never experienced anything like this. We are told here that it was at the evening that the evening had come. Well at the beginning of the chapter which was probably the morning or late morning into the afternoon we find that Jesus was there teaching in parables to a large crowd. Now coming to the end of the day, coming towards evening, he says let us go across to the other side and probably the boat that they were taking across is the boat that was here we find at the beginning from which Jesus was preaching at the beginning of the chapter. It's probably the same boat that they were now using to cross over to the other side. Now this storm was a more trying because it came upon them when they were in the path of duty. On that day when evening had come he said to them let us go across to the other side. We sometimes think that the storms that affect believers only comes upon them when they are in the path of disobedience but that is not absolutely true. When we are in the path of disobedience the storm that comes upon us as are in the form of a chastening but not every storm is a justice meant. The storm that came upon
[16:46] Abraham in his old age was not a chastening but it was a testing. The storm that came upon Joseph about whom we sang earlier this evening that storm when he was put into the prison was not a chastening but a testing. Joseph who was sold as a slave his feet were hurt with fetters his neck was put in a collar of iron until what he had said came to pass. The word of the Lord tested him.
[17:23] The storm there was a testing. Testing whether God was faithful to what he had promised to Joseph.
[17:34] It was a testing of God's faithfulness to his promise to his word. The same in the case of Abraham when he was asked to uh told to offer up a son. It was a testing to Abraham of the faithfulness of God to his word and promise and this storm that is brought here before us is also a testing time for the disciples. God had said or the Lord had said to them Jesus had said to them let us go over to the other side another in our storm and it fear that they would never reach the other side. It is a testing of the faithfulness of Jesus to his promise and to his word.
[18:23] Let us go over to the other side. This sometimes leaves believers perplexed and confused like the same situation in Psalm 73. Here is words. Behold these are the wicked always at ease. They increase in riches all in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence for all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said I will speak thus I would have betrayed the generation of your children but when I thought how to understand this it seemed to me a wholesome task until I went to the sanctuary of God then I discerned the end. Psalm 107.
[19:17] They mounted up to heaven they went down to the depths their courage melted away in their evil plight the real done staggered like drunken men and were at their wit's end then they cried to the Lord in the trouble and he delivered them from their distress. Well you know such can be the Lord of those who faithfully follow the Lord they are not immune from difficulties from trials and from testils neither are they immune from the storms that can come upon us because of the disobedience of our nation think of Daniel and his friends they went into captivity not because of their own personal disobedience but because of the disobedience of the nation so many of the old prophets of the Old Testament suffered along with the nations trials and tribulations and difficulties even desperate moments in our lives are moments when God does his greatest work in our lives he reveals to us who he is he reveals to us who we are he reveals to us our great need he brings us to an end of ourselves so that we are driven to him and to him alone we are not to think that this requires a dramatic moment at all in our experience the fact is that
[21:09] God is working in the everyday circumstances of our lives sometimes like the Samas we can't be tempted to think that for wicked everything is going plain while for us it is a time of testing trials and difficulties we may be tempted to think things one smoothly with me before I knew the Lord but the Lord warned his disciples and the Lord had said to them in this world you will have tribulations when we look at the Bible he compares the believers to lambs among wolves in the song of Solomon he compares his beloved as a lily among thorns we are in a hostile world we are in a world that is hostile to everything that bears the name of
[22:22] Christ that bears the name of the Lord so we will come across trials tribulation and difficulties Peter reminds us beloved do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you but rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed if you are insulted for the name of Christ you are blessed because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you a reminder to us of what we are to expect on the journey these storms are not necessarily things that happened from without outside of us it can also be from within we can be burdened with our sins we can be burdened with illness we can be burdened with a struggle to make ends meet we can be burdened with the struggle of all the duties of everyday existence the storms are not necessarily from outside of us it can be the storm within which is a very personal storm and now here what we notice is that the Lord allowed them to feel the fury of the storm he did not intervene we can ask why us we often do when we are beset with a storm in our life when we beset with a difficulty or with a trial or a testing and the Lord seems to be silent
[24:25] I think the answer can be found in the mild rebuke that we have here that he gave us disciples in verse 40 he said to them why are you so afraid have you still no faith why as we often do when we are beset with a storm see that why yes why why well he says to them why are you so afraid how you still no faith he allows sometimes trials so that his power can't be made known he awoke or rebuke the wind and said to the sea peace be still and the wind ceased and there was a great calm remember Paul how the Lord allowed the thorn in the flesh to continue in his experience why so that his grace could be made manifest and sometimes the Lord allows trials and testing some difficulties in our lives so that the power of his grace can be made manifest through us through us sometimes you can see somebody who is terribly ill and you just wonder how as a Christian how he can bear that illness he might be a marvel to you that he is so content that he or she is so content in that illness and what is behind it the grace of God the grace of
[26:18] God the same with with Job for instance he lost all his family in one moment they were all gone sons and daughters were all gone and yet or do we find him saying the Lord gave and the Lord had taken away and you asked how how could he just bear what has just happened in his experience only by the grace of God another thing that we have to remember is that the Lord is with the believer in the journey he said let us go across to the other side it wasn't telling the disciples to go on the road he said let us go across to the other side plus this made the situation more confusing to them not merely that the storm has sailed them when Jesus was with them on the ship but at the worst of the storm he seemed to be asleep sometimes when we are in in most intense storms of life it may seem to us at times that the Lord is asleep at least his silence in itself is a test for us we do not hear his voice or not see his countenance nor see his face we go to the bible when it and it becomes a closed book for us when we go to the means of grace we receive nothing when we go on our knees it is as if the heavens are brass how often we are like Jacob when persuaded to send Benjamin to Egypt he said all these things are against me but Joseph we have already noted in the prison with the sweet in the fetters we are told that the word of the Lord tried and well he could say where is the Lord's promise and maybe in storms of life we may be coming to the same conclusion like Jacob all these things are against me we might be asking where is the promise like Joseph could have asked yet he the Lord promised to be with his people in all the storms of life when you pass through the waters I will be with you and through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned burnt and the flame shall not consume you he has promised to be with his people let us go across to the other side me and you but here also we see something else and that is we are taught that our Lord is not only divine but he's also human he is fully God but he is also fully man he is the God man two nature united in one person both his humanity and his deity his prudent display in this narrative that is here set before us here we see his trust in the providential care of his father that's very important for us we've asked how how can Jesus be asleep in this dorm the worst dorm that these fishermen had ever seen on the sea of Galilee how can he be asleep well he can't be asleep because his trust is in the providential care of his father he was given a mission when he was sent into the world he had a work to complete which would lead him to Jerusalem and to the cross of Golgotha he was a father servant he had a work to complete and he was given a promise by the father that he would uphold him until that work was complete behold he says in the prophecy of Isaiah behold my servant he's speaking there of Jesus behold my servant whom I will uphold and Jesus trusted in the faithfulness of his father to his promise and to his word and although the storm was threatening yet it could never destroy him because of the faithfulness of
[31:21] God to his word to his promise Jesus was to complete his mission Jesus was to complete his mission he had complete confidence in the father's promise that he would finish the work that was given him to do and we are called upon to have that complete trust in the faithfulness of God to his word and to his promise whatever will confront us in life the Lord has promised that all things work together for good to them who love the Lord who is called according to his word the Lord has promised that he will bring his children across to the other side the Lord has promised that he will bring his children into the inheritance that he has prepared the Lord has promised that he will bring his children to be with him and we are to depend upon his promise whatever the situation that we are confronted with he is with us and though I am with you even into the end of the world he is with us in the distresses of life Paul writing to young Timothy he was to be a preacher for God says at my first answer no one stood with me but all men for suit me I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge not with stand in the
[33:08] Lord stood with me and strengthened me that by me the preaching might be fully known that all the Gentiles might hear and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion and the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work and will preserve me and to his heavenly kingdom to whom be glory forever and ever amen yes he is with us in all the storms of life even in the last great storm that will confront me and you the storm of death might be tonight your greatest anxiety is what shall I do in the swellings of Jordan the psalmist well could sing yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me thy rot and thy staff they comfort me the storm may cry out to you I won't let you get to the other side and you know the thing is we may almost agree with the cry of the storm I won't let you get to the other side but you know stronger to see that is for us than he that is against us yes in this journey the believers faith me for after we read but he was in the stern asleep on the cushion and they walk and said to teacher do you not care that we are perishing and he awoke and rebuked the wind and the sea and said to the sea peace be still and the wind ceased and there was a great calm they were full of doubts and and fear probably thinking we'll never reach the other side we'll never reach the other side this storm is going to overcome us is going to overwhelm us it is going to sink us we will not reach the other side full of doubts and fear perhaps even there were some resentment you know have you ever felt resentment with the providence of God in your life if you're really going to be honest
[35:35] I've said been testing some trials and tribulations and difficulties in your providence that you may have resentment with the providence of God the fear you know was were opposed to their own experience they had seen the Lord working miracles they had already abandoned proof of his care on their behalf may I ask you tonight has the Lord ever failed you has he not been has he not kept us up to this day to this point of our in time has he not kept me and you can we not raise our epineser today and say hither to has the Lord hither to has he brought me to trials and testings and difficulties in my life hither to has the Lord helped me the fears were inconsistent with her observations they had seen Jesus heal the sick they had seen Jesus feed the multitudes was it a reasonable for them to think that he would now take them on board the ship when he knew that a storm would wreck them and sink them and drown them it is good for us to heed the words of
[37:03] Paul and I am sure of this that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ he will bring the work that he has begun to completion he will not leave it half done he will bring it to completion and if he has begun a working you he is going to bring it to completion whatever storms or difficulties may confront you in a way he redeemed us to bring us to heaven he started a work in us by his spirit not to leave it half done but to complete it and to bring us to heaven and whatever trials and difficulties and testings may confront me and you in life and although we may be full of fears and doubts we'll never make it we'll never reach the other side he has redeemed us to bring us to the other side let us cross over to the other side me and you me and you this is part of the covenant agreement for it he is charged with the responsibility of bringing all that the father has given him he is charged with the responsibility of bringing them to glory he went to the cross and died for the mirrors he ascended and he's returning again for them he shall lose none whom the father has given him he will bring them all to glory to be with him forever he says how is it that you have no faith maybe they when they started their journey maybe they trusted in the good ship rather than in Christ or maybe they felt they were safe because of their own knowledge of the sea of their seamanship you see we see often mingler reliance upon self or upon other objects that belong to the flesh with our reliance upon the Lord we try and take the two together but that can't happen they failed to trust the Lord's promise of verse 35 let us cross over to the other side he was present with him and he's always a present help in the time of trouble he arose and he brought a great calm here is lifting up their faith it reminds us that the storms of life are under his sovereign control that's what we said at the beginning that's what this passage principally tells us that he is in control he is sovereign this storm is under his control and so are the storms in my life and your life they are under his sovereign control he is in control of the whole chain of events whatever we are tossed by life's troubles we need to remember that God is still sovereign never lose sight of the sovereignty of God always have that before you whatever events in your own personal life in the life of the nation that that seems to be going further and further away from God but God is in control that's my comfort tonight and your comfort tonight that God is in control he knows what he is doing and he's working everything out to his glory God is sovereign he is in control he is never taken by surprise he is shaping us showing us our weakness and when that's Asia said to the disciples where is your faith you know he was really mighty rebuking them and challenging them to have the same trust in the father loving care and the father's faithfulness to his word and promise as he had he's saying to them have trust in trust in the father as I have Jesus us with them on the boat surely that should have been the most comforting reason for them to trust but God allow his son the promised redeemer to perish in this journey the believer will be kept safe until the other side you know chapter five verse one they came to the other side of the sea they did reach and in this journey the believer will be kept safe until the other side the calm that came was a striking new experience those fishermen of galley had never seen the lake after this fashion before because it is here particularly noted to us then there was a great calm only moments before there was such a storm that they had never seen that they thought they were going to perish but all of a sudden Jesus rebuked the sea and the wind and there was a great calm they had never experienced this type of calm before the calm was so perfect you know yourselves that when our storms subside the seas generally angry for hours and sometimes we you see even for days the sea is still angry we see the rolling waves still days after the storm has passed but that was not the case here one moment there was a storm the sea was rolling waves the next moment it was calm it was calm these fishermen did not look for calm they did not look for it but that was what happened and as the Lord not done for me and you sometimes what we never expected they never expected this calm but it happened it came because the Lord cared for them and I and you not as we reflect upon the our christian experience say there were times when what we did not expect came and there was a great calm now the disciples have a question to ask and they were filled with great fear and said to one another who then is this that even the wind and the sea open the fear of the disciple over what Jesus has just done and who he might you know it exceeds the fear of the storm they are terrified now when they beheld the calm the fear of the disciples so what Jesus has just done and who he might be exceeds the fear of the storm do you wonder and marvel more and more that by his grace you often say I am what I am by the grace of God and sometimes that can put fear into your heart to think of yourself and what you are only by the grace of God well we have sung
[45:06] Psalm 107 he made the storm be still and the waves of the sea were harsh then they were glad that the waters were quiet and he brought them to their desired heaven you see God is sovereign and he works in all the circumstances of our lives trials and difficulty comes in order for us to know ourselves better but also to lean upon Jesus more and more when we think that he has taken the greatest storm of all on the cross of Golgotha he endured that storm he went down in that storm only to emerge triumphant so that I and you could have peace and eternal life he is with us in the storms of life and although we may be fearful even terrified even doubting even wondering shall I ever reach the other side let us remember he is faithful to his word and to his promise he's a servant of Jehovah he was given a people to redeem them and he will bring them home to be with him forever more we shall reach the other side we shall reach the other side he will be faithful to his word and to his promise and they came to their side of the sea let us pass over to the other side let us and always hold on to that he is with you and he's with you in order to bring you home I will lose none of them
[47:16] I will bring them home and at the end he stands before the Father and he says behold I and the children that you have given me and I have lost them I've brought them over to the other side through all the storms through all the difficulties to all the trials and the testies of life I have brought them home to be with me forever more and the Lord bless her thoughts upon his word let us pray