Who is this man?

But Jesus cares

Mark 4:35-41 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they took Jesus in the boat and started out. … But soon a fierce storm came up. … Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still! Suddenly the wind stopped and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”

Shutterstock: Oskari Porkka

Mark 8:27-29 Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” “Well,” they replied. “Some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.” Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.”

Teacher … Messiah. What a huge leap from one to the other. Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God, the Savior, Redeemer, Rescuer, Lord.

A friend recently told me, “I admire Jesus. I learn a lot from him. But I don’t believe he is God.” I thought but didn’t say, You’re in Mark 4. But Mark 8 is coming!

A lot happened between Mark 4 and Mark 8. The disciples saw Jesus bring peace to a man who had been tortured by a legion of demons, heal a frightened woman sick for twelve years, bring a dead twelve-year-old back to life, suffer rejection in his home town, give them authority to heal, feed five thousand men plus women and children from one boy’s lunch, walk on water, free a Gentile child from a plaguing demon, restore hearing to a deaf man and sight to a blind one, feed four thousand more people …

What do you need to make the jump from “Teacher” to “Messiah”? Can you accept the testimony of those who walked with Jesus day in and day out, who witnessed his power and compassion and listened to his wisdom? Ask the Father. Don’t stop asking, seeking, knocking.

In The Inner Voice of Love, Henri Nouwen writes beautifully about Jesus calming the wind and waves in the story told in Mark 6:45-50, when the disciples still didn’t “get” who he really was. Here’s part of what Nouwen says:

… waves cover you and want to sweep you off your feet … feeling rejected, forgotten, misunderstood. Feeling anger, resentment, or even the desire for revenge, self-pity, self-rejection. These waves make you feel powerless. What are you to do? Make the conscious choice to move the attention of your anxious heart away from these waves and direct it to the One who walks on them and says, “It’s me. Don’t be afraid.” … He is very close to you and will put your soul to rest.

Jesus does care.

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