As promised last week, I am trying to post a little bit of the upcoming Sunday sermon every Thursday. This weeks sermon is from Mark 4:35-41 where frightened disciples wake up the sleeping Jesus when the storm begins to threaten them. This excerpt comes from about half way through the homily, which is based around the four questions we find in the text. Enjoy.
TEACHER DO YOU NOT CARE?
Someone wakes up the sleeping Savior and asks him, “Teacher, Rabbi, Do you not care that we are about to die?”
The first thing I need to do with this question is analyze it for veracity. Were they about to perish?
The text says that water was coming in on the boat. The mental image one gets is not rainfall filling the boat but instead the high waves white capping so ferociously that with each swell the water crashes into the boat and it is filling it up. The 12 are making calculations and they have determined that too much more this and the boat will sink.
If the boat sinks, and all the other boats sink, out in the middle of the lake, chances are pretty good they will drown in the middle of the storm. Therefore, I don’t think they are speaking in hyperbole. I believe they are in real danger of dying.
Now, what is the reason for the question?
Well, that takes me down a whole new path. A disciple—I don’t know which one, calls him “teacher” or “rabbi.” It is clear by Mark’s portrayal of these 12 that they do not know exactly who Jesus is yet. They do not wake him up so that he will calm the storm. That is beyond their expectations. They probably woke him up to get him to help with the buckets to bail the water out of the boat. The thinking is, “This is so serious that even the big shot should help.”
That question that is asked, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” really carries with it the urgency of, “This is serious, why are you not helping us? Do something!”
Twist it around a bit and we can hear it asked a million times fresh and new each day. What it usually boils down to is, “Why doesn’t God do something?”
- Doesn’t God care that we are dying of cancer
- that I can’t find a job
- that my children are having problems
- that I am suffering mental anguish
- God, do you not care?
Watch this—look at the text—does Jesus answer that question?
No. He gives no answer. I think he gives no answer because . . .