by Gerald Rodgers

There Was a Great Calm
Rev. Gerald Rodgers
Mark 4:35-41

When Ernest Hemingway was wounded in the First World War, author Ben Patterson tells us, doctors picked 237 pieces of shrapnel out of his body. As might be expected he never forgot that experience. But it was not so much the memory of the pain that stayed with him; it was how close he had come to death. He felt that it had set him apart from the rest of the human race for the remainder of his life.

From this, Hemingway derived a formula for his novels: Put a good man into a situation where he comes face to face with death and you will see him in his truest and deepest dimensions. You will find out just how good he is, for the trial will neither make him nor break him - it will reveal him!

Trials do not make or break an individual; they merely reveal the individual. I think Hemingway's thesis is exemplified in the trial that washed over the disciples on the stormy Sea of Galilee. For it was on that windswept sea that their true colors were revealed prompting the Lord to ask in v40 "Why ... faith?" I want you to notice four things about these men who survived a great storm.

The context of this story is what we might call back-to-back parables - one spiritual truth after another being set forth by the master teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ. But now Jesus takes His disciples out of the lecture hall of theory and into the lab of real life. (vs 35-36).

Jesus must have been exhausted by a full day of teaching on the western side of the Sea of Galilee. Nothing would have appealed to Him more than a nice, late evening sail across the moonlit lake and so off they set to go to the other side. Now of course the sea they sailed on was subject to sudden storms that could work havoc. It was one of these storms that struck the disciples' boat that night. So severe was the storm that the parallel account in Matthew uses a Greek word to describe an earthquake.

Can you i ...

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