They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4, verse 41
Are we so amazed, in shock, or intimidated by the idea of Jesus that we don’t grasp who He is?
The disciples weren’t asking because they didn’t know who Jesus was; He was their friend in person. They ‘got it.” Yet they were amazed when they actually got to comprehend the meaning of what they ‘got.’ Think about it: they’re standing there in this boat in the middle of a big lake (sea). Jesus has just told the storm to stop and it did. They totally blow past the lesson He teaches them. It’s kind of like the guy who says a bunch of things to you, but you key in on just one of them and ignore everything else. They see that Jesus has stopped the storm and are stuck in that moment. I suppose we might be too.
In fact, I suppose that many of us are. We’re amazed and intimidated by the fact that this Jesus, this guy from thousands of years ago, is actually alive, here, living in our hearts but also acting in reality in real ways in this real world. It’s mind boggling and I wonder just how many of us remain stuck in that moment, unable to get past it because of our amazement.
True: some folks become genuinely afraid when they’re amazed. Not long after this, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on to a mountain where He was transfigured. His three friends saw Jesus shine like lightning and then saw the very real Moses and Elijah appear and talk with Jesus. Moses had been dead for centuries; Elijah never died. That doesn’t happen every day, and the disciples’ reaction was genuine fear. Not just respect, but scare-the-crap-out-of-me-because-“it”-just-got-real fear. Many of us have that same reaction even though Jesus tells us time and again to let Him master our fear and not let our fears master us.
Yet we are easily amazed by small things. Hey, I’m amazed I’ve lived as long as I have lived and not gotten into more trouble. Or been shot, beat up, or killed for things I’ve said and done. I’ve met or seen every president going back to Gerald Ford, and find that these extraordinary men are actually just men. I’m amazed by my grandson, and how crops grow, and the coincidences in history (which I don’t actually think are coincidences). My wife says she’s amazed by sunsets, life, the infinity of things, and the fact that I do dishes. What amazes you?
How about Jesus; He amazes me. I’m completely blown away thinking that the person who thought of me caused me to live. He has this phenomenal cosmic power (better than Aladdin’s genie, in fact) yet chooses to use it for the betterment of this sinful third rock. When He expresses His majesty, He does it both in the spectral colors of the sunset and in the softness of a sleeping child. And that, thousands of years before I was born, He thought of me and died for me. I’m amazed by that, floored in fact, so much that I can’t comprehend it.
So were the disciples. It wasn’t that He calmed the storm. It wasn’t the healing and the miracles. It was that they got a real look and a real taste of just who and what He was. And is still today.
Lord, let me be constructively amazed by You.
Read the rest of Mark 4.