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We Know, Even If the Disciples Do Not

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Again In the Boat

This week’s text is Mark 4:35-41.  This is a short passage that once again sees Jesus and some Disciples in the boat.  It always seems that these guys are in or on the water.  Not surprising as Jesus called so many of them away from their fishing jobs.  It also serves to illuminate the message God wants us to receive about His Son.  This story is no exception as a storm arises which serves to illustrate the author’s point very well.

Who Is This Man?

For those of us of a certain age this question brings up the image of the comical German, Major Hochstetter, form the 1960s television show Hogan’s Heroes.  The major always wanted to know who this Hogan was and what was he doing.  This is the very same question that the Disciples in the boat ask after witnessing Jesus calm the storm.

One of the great themes of the Gospel of Mark is the portrayal of Jesus as the Suffering Servant.  The other main theme is the uncomprehending nature of the Disciples as to the true identity of Jesus.  Time and again in Mark, the Disciples simply do not get it.  This is not the case in the other Synoptic Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  John of course is altogether different.  In Mark the boys do not really get it until Jesus rises, and then Mark’s account ends.

The Twin Lessons Here

The twin lessons from this text, and indeed from this overarching theme of Mark as a whole is that it is the Resurrection that explains all of this.  Our belief in the Risen Jesus is what makes all of the rest of Scripture make sense.  Otherwise it would be just a story.  Scripture does not explain the Resurrection, our belief in the Resurrection makes Scripture relevant.  The risen Jesus is the basis of our faith, not the worship of the bible.  So Mark’s perspective is a welcome one, not to disparage the other Gospel writer’s perspective.  This theme of Mark is relevant to us today.

The other lesson here is that unlike the Disciples we do not need to wait to understand.  In Mark, the Disciples had to experience the Resurrection before they got it.  We have already experienced the Resurrection through the faith that Jesus places within us.  We do not need to wait.  We need only hopefully wait until He comes again.  This will occur either at the time of our death or the end of the age (my bet is on the former, but hey, you never know).

We are now somewhere between the Acts of the Apostles and The Book of Revelation.  We should lament the Disciples for not understanding the true nature or mission of Jesus.  At the same time, we should be joyful that we know how the story ends.  Mark too knew how the story ended.  Yet, he put us in the midst of the Disciples as they might have experienced the earthly Jesus to make one of his main points.  This perspective is indeed helpful, as it serves as a reminder of the reality of the Disciple’s experience with Jesus and a reminder of our own.

We should take these lessons to heart as we journey toward that day of Revelation.  Our call is to live into the faith that God has given us through His Son.  To trust that God’s good and gracious word is true, that the Resurrection is real, and that Jesus Christ is Lord.  In response to that faith, we go out and joyfully try our best to reflect Christ in this world.  Unlike the first Disciples, we need not wait to believe and obey.

Praise Be to God

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