Over the past couple of weeks, we have been studying the life of Christ. We are walking through the life of Christ in a different manner. It is not a chronological look at His life. We began our walk with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Then we moved to the ascension of Christ. Last week, our topic was the birth of Christ, specifically focusing on His family. This week, we are going to take a look at one of His miracles, when He calmed the storm for His disciples. This lesson is going to teach us about the divine power of Christ as well as about ourselves.
Do you ever struggle with fear? What do you do when you are afraid? Does fear ever control you or are you able to overcome it every time that it attacks you?
I know that you deal with fear because we all do. Fear is part of our sin nature. God did not create us to be fearful. He created us to trust in Him. As a result of mankind’s fall into sin, we are all born with a sin nature. Our sin nature feeds off of fear. Jesus’ disciples were human just like we all are. They were born with a sin nature just like the rest of us. This is what we are going to learn about in this lesson; Jesus’ power to perform divine miracles, the disciples’ problem with fear, and how faith helps us overcome our fear by trusting in the Lord.
The passage that I would like for us to consider in Mark 4:35-41. Now that you have had a chance to read the passage, let’s see what we can learn about Christ, ourselves, and the importance of faith.
Christ’s divine power
The first thing that we learn is that Christ is the focus of this passage. He is the key to overcoming fear. He is the key to overcoming our sin nature which wants to dominate us. We cannot overcome our fear on our own because we cannot overcome our sin nature without the power of Christ, the same power that is able to calm the storm.
The context of this passage is discipleship, specifically, Jesus teaching His disciples how to minister to others. Jesus wants to cross the sea to minister to the people there, waiting for Him. While on the way, obstacles arose, the winds picked up and a storm blew in. When following Christ in the ministry, obstacles will always arise. Things will try to stop us through fear tactics. Sometimes those obstacles are the elements and other times they are people. Jesus is not stopped from ministering because of obstacles. The disciples are afraid but Jesus knows what to do and has the ability to overcome the situation. Jesus uses the obstacles of life to teach His disciples to depend upon Him as they seek to minister to the people around them. Jesus’ miracles were always done with a purpose, to meet people’s needs and connect with them, to teach His disciples how to minister, to show that He is God, and to open the door for the message of the Gospel. Jesus never performed a miracle just for the sake of the miracle itself. The focus was never the miracle. The focus was to point people to Christ and teach them how to connect with God. What do we learn about the disciples from this passage?
The disciples’ fear
The disciples are just like you and I are. They are controlled by their sin nature and need Christ to rescue them from their paralysis in the face of fear. This is good news for you and for me. The good news is that Christ was the answer for them and He is the answer for us today. Christ wants us to follow Him and as we walk with Him, learn how to depend upon Him more and more, day by day. This is not easy because of our sin nature. Christ wants us to connect with the people around them and minister to them, teaching them how to connect with Him in a personal relationship. In the midst of this, there will always be obstacles that play on our sin nature’s weakness in the face of fear. In order to overcome our sin nature which will help us overcome our fear and the obstacles, we must trust (have faith) in Jesus Christ, the One who can overcome any obstacle, nature, sin nature, fear etc. The key to overcoming fear is to have faith in Jesus Christ, to trust Him in the midst of the storms of life and in the storms of ministry.
What about you my dear friend, are you a genuine follower of the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you following Him as He leads you to minister to the people around you? How do you respond to the obstacles of life and ministry? Do you depend more and more on Christ through faith or are you overcome by fear? Do you allow your sin nature to dominate you or do you trust in the power that Christ has over your sin nature?