This is the first time in Mark that Jesus crosses from the predominantly Jewish to the predominantly Gentile side of the Sea of Galilee. He is accompanied by a small flotilla of boats. It can be a dangerous crossing if a windstorm suddenly whips up, something that happens now. To make matters worse it is night and the boats lose contact with each other. The disciples are terrified, fearing for their lives. But Jesus, like Jonah before him (Jonah 1:4-6), is sleeping through it all!
Take your place in Jesus’ boat and allow yourself to be drawn into the whole experience. Let the drama unfold. How do you feel when the waves pour into the boat, threatening to sink her? Do you cry out to Jesus and find him unresponsive because he is asleep? After a while he wakes and calms the wind and the sea; and chides the disciples for their lack of faith. Do you share their awe as they realize that they are in the presence of some extraordinary power? Are you as faithless are they are when storms arise in your life and Jesus seems distant and unconcerned?
Put yourself imaginatively into the boat with the disciples. Allow yourself to experience the happy anticipation at the start of the voyage and then the terror as the gale sweeps in. Your life is in danger. You look to Jesus to save you but he is asleep–as if he doesn’t care. Then feel the relief as he speaks with authority and calms the wind and sea. Are you embarrassed when he questions your faith? Is there anything you want to say to him after this adventure?
Jesus rebukes the storm – with all the authority of a trainer bringing an unruly animal to heel. The disciples now have to totally revise their view of what they are dealing with in Jesus.
Jesus is always looking out for my needs – even if he seems to be asleep.