(taken from Mark 4:35-5:20…Peace, be still…)
Keep your eyes on this guy Mark. His writings move so fast I can see why some believe he wasn’t writing on his own, but he was taking notes from our beloved Peter. All right, let’s take a walk. We know this story, though it’s anything but, hence the question. Whose red-letter day was this? Let’s look.
He appears to have been teaching all day after a big “red-letter rejection” from three different angles, while getting cornered between a big crowd and the lakefront. Also of interest is the sea itself. It turns out that storms are very common here because of the land formation. In other words,
“It’s another set-up.”
Clue #1: He saw this coming (cp. Mark 3:7-9)
Clue #2: These are professional sailors, who are fearing for their lives, taking on seawater in sudden, severe weather.
Clue #3: He’s asleep in the back during all this!
Clue #4: They have to wake Him up!
Clue #5: In Greek it reads, “peace, be muzzled”
Clue #6: He rebukes His followers for no faith.
Clue #7: His followers are shocked by His ability to command the weather.
Whose red-letter day was this? For, there’s another instance on record that seems similar, yet very different, in that He doesn’t command the storm. He commands His people. Some of us have concluded that Jesus Himself created that particular storm to make His point, encouraging them to exercise faith (cp. John 6:14-21). That’s for another day…
But not this red-letter day.
Immediately after they land, we’re confronted with a unique exchange between Jesus and a large group of spirits (estimates are in the hundreds) within this one man. He will most likely be the reason Jesus showed up here. This encounter is a bit similar to the surveillance report Satan submitted in Job’s story, Job 1-2, check it out. Yet this ground floor interrogation was very, very different.
Whatever was going on in this Gentile outpost was on Jesus’ schedule and these spirits obviously didn’t want Him there, or near that man, lest they lose their beacon on that territory. Sadly, the locals felt the same way for their own reasons. Sure, they lost some of their livelihood that day, but they may have still been under some undue influence these spirits were unwilling to give up. On the basis of this text some of us believe He was talking to these unclean spirits while that storm was in progress, not just the wind and sea. Please feel free to compare this entire dialogue with Jesus’ other confrontations with these spirits. Same basic Greek grammar throughout.
What an extreme comfort to know it’s no longer necessary to answer every knock at the door of my heart, or even to chase down every wind of doctrine. A lot of that stuff I wouldn’t feed my lawn, anyway. It’s all right to rest in God’s covering over my domain and to let Jesus answer for me toward the undue influences of a deteriorating, stormy world…
…Peace, be still…