Dear People Who Keep Company With God,
I believe Mark 5 clearly demonstrates what “Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” looks like when it is manifested in the earth. It is most surely one example of what Peter had in mind when He said, “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” Acts 10:38. In this one chapter we see how the kingdom of heaven answers the five most pressing problems every person will face in this life. Those most pressing problems are sin, relationships, health, finances and death.
The events leading up to Mark 5 are significant and give us insight as to what is happening with us right now. Just as the Lord called the disciples to go over to the other side knowing a storm was between them and the other side, He has also called us to go over and pass through storms.
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; Mark 4:35-38
This story is told in Matthew, Mark & Luke and they all basically tell it the same way, however here are some subtle differences that may shed some light on what happens as we go through difficult times.
They came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” Matthew 8:25
They woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Mark 4:38
They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Luke 8:24
I believe you will find this to be quite a familiar pattern in your life. Typically in a crisis or difficult time our first response is “Lord”, meaning we know He is sovereign and in control. We believe everything is going to be ok and He will take care of all of it shortly. However, after things continue for a while and do not get any better we start looking for the “Teacher”, meaning we are trying to understand and develop a theology for why we are in the mess and our prayers are not working. We begin to rationalize that Jesus is using the situation to teach and help us grow thus He has allowed this for our good. After we get worn down a little more and realize our theology is empty we get real and serious. We cry our Master – this is a very loud and demanding statement meaning something like “Help, get with it, I am drowning!”
And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. Mark 4:39
The disciples had been fighting the waves and Jesus rebukes the wind and speaks a calming word to the sea. This is significant as the waves were about to destroy them. I believe the Lord was illustrating to us that we do not simply have a wave problem but a wind problem. Waves are the circumstances, and if we fight the waves we will wear ourselves out bailing water and never accomplish anything. Most of the time we are so focused on the circumstances that we miss the root of the problem, which is spiritual. Once we deal with the spiritual side we can then effectively deal with our circumstances.
I want to point out one more thing in the story; “and other boats were with Him” (verse 36). This is the last we hear of those other boats, not everyone who begins with the Lord will make it to the other side. As long as the sailing is smooth many will follow, but the storms have a way of finding out who is really going to press through. As strange as this may seem this is one of God’s ways of inviting us to get rid of the things, such as empty theology, which hinder His kingdom in us.
Regardless of where you are in the process, you will arrive at the other side if you will stay with Him and stand on His Word. “Let us go over to the other side.”
Mark 5 is on the other side.
Many Blessings, BW