One of the Strangest Questions Jesus Ever Asked

Why am I afraid

Why Are You Afraid?

“Why are you afraid?” he asked. This has to be one of the strangest questions Jesus ever asked his disciples. And this blog post explains why.

What Happened Leading Up To The Question

After a long day of teaching Jesus tells his disciples to jump into the boat and go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. But as they make their way across, a storm comes up. Some of the disciples are experienced commercial fishermen, so they’re familiar with the Sea of Galilee and its associated weather. With that in mind it follows, this storm that comes up, it’s well beyond the norm for storms in that area. The winds are extreme to the point where waves are covering the boat. (Matthew 8:23-27) The storm is so intense that these experienced commercial fishermen are convinced they’re going to die. Meanwhile Jesus, likely exhausted from teaching and healing the pressing multitude, is in the back, asleep.

So they wake him up and they say, “…do you not care that we are perishing?”

And he asks them, “Why are you afraid?”

Strange question.

Why I Become Afraid

Why are you afraid? Under the circumstances it seems like a strange question to me. Under the current circumstances of the disciples, I have to confess, fear feels like a reasonable reaction to me. And maybe you’ve experienced that same feeling. I know I have. I’ve experienced that feeling like I was drowning in my problems. Overwhelmed by difficulties. The storm in my life was way beyond my own energy and ability to overcome. And it felt like God didn’t care. It felt like He was napping in the back of the boat.

Have you ever felt that way?

I have a friend who felt that way about his diseased body. I have another friend who felt that way about his unemployment. And another friend who felt that way about his lonely single lifestyle.

I think we have all felt that way. But I think Jesus would ask each of us the same question, “Why are you afraid?”

What He Said Next

Jesus didn’t stop after he asked, “Why are you afraid?” He asked a second question that provides insight into why he asked the first. His second question was this: Continue reading

Love Like Jesus–A Storm and a Wedding: Mark 4:37-39

Love Like Jesus Calm the StormA Storm Hits a Wedding Ceremony

I went to this wedding once where the person who took charge of planning the wedding had a beautiful vision for it. It was going to happen outside and it was going to be done in a very particular way so as to make the setting spectacular. The only thing was, everything was geared for outdoors. The venue was an outdoor venue, so the wedding and reception depended on dry calm weather. And whenever the person who was planning this thing was asked what she would do if it rained, she simply said: It won’t rain.

Well guess what?

A storm came through, and it rained.

And the weather outside wasn’t the only storm happening that day. With no indoor venue or arrangements made whatsoever, the wedding planner just shut down. Panic and pandemonium ensued as the bride, the bride’s mother, and many others frantically attempted to put something together.

Then in stepped these two women who were friends of the bride’s mother. In a very gentle and gracious manner they just sort of, took over. They found a gym they could use at a Christian high school. They figured out how to arrange the outdoor tables and chairs to accommodate the guests, even though the gym was much smaller than expected. They found a place for the caterer to set up. They improvised with the decorations designed for the outdoor venue. They were amazing.

It wasn’t long after these two engaged the problem that the storm subsided and a calm came over the bride and the rest of the wedding party.

How Jesus Loved People

When the disciples took Jesus across the sea of Galilee and the storm came, there was panic and pandemonium. The disciples in the boat were freaking out–because of a storm–so Jesus calmed it.

How to Love Like Jesus

Jesus loved the disciples by calming their storm. You and I can’t command the wind and the waves, but there are other storms we can calm.

Just like Jesus, God has put you in a boat with a group of people. They’re the ones in your family, in your workplace, in your circle of friends. And just like the disciples in the boat, they’ll experience storms. And sometimes, like the two ladies at the wedding, you’ll have the power to calm those storms.

When someone you know is freaked out, maybe you’re just the right person to bring them peace. Maybe their storm is a computer that’s down, or a car that won’t start, or the end of a relationship, or the loss of a job.

You just might be uniquely qualified to calm the wind and the waves.

Jesus calmed the storm for the disciples.

When you see an opportunity to calm someone’s storm, calm it.

Jesus did.

You can too.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. -Mark 4:37-39

[Image via Green Destiny – Creative Commons]