“And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
There are times in our lives that the intensity of life’s pressures brings about an intensity of fear. Christ desires to use these circumstances to bring about an intensity of faith.
The life circumstance in which the disciples found themselves was quite serious-a sudden, intense storm on the Sea of Galilee. Many of the disciples were experienced fishermen, quite familiar with this lake and its sudden, violent storms, yet this storm was a “great [the Greek word is megas or mega] storm of wind” (v.37), and the ship was filled with water, about to sink.
There were two possible reactions. They had been with Christ for two years or so and had seen many manifestations of His divine power and knew of His divine, unfailing mission. Peace, an assurance that God would care for them, should have been their response, but they chose to panic instead. In all likelihood, we would have panicked also, as we usually do when in even lesser danger.
They awakened Christ, informing Him that He (the eternal Creator) was about to perish. Christ, who in His flesh was no doubt extremely tired, arose from His sleep and addressed the storm. “Hush,” He said (better translation than “peace”), “be still,” or calm, perhaps so He could go back to sleep (v.39). The result? A “great [or mega] calm” prevailed, the waves were immediately still, the wind was intensely quiet, and the disciples “feared exceedingly” (v.41), or better, “mega fear” possessed them.
As Christ lay back down to sleep, He spoke the words in our text, and He speaks them to us today. The exhibit of His power in Scripture and in our own experience should overwhelm our fear with faith. “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). JDM