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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Fifth Sunday After Pentecost
Series B

Option #1: "When Jesus Seems Asleep in Your Boat"
Mark 4:35-41
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
  I. Remember that He is fully human--John 11:35, 19:28; Heb 4:15-16

 II. Remember to trust His compassion for you--Matt 9:36; Mk 6:34, 14:14

III. Remember that He is the Almighty God who will help in His own way and time--Job 38:11; Psalm 89:7-9; Jonah 10:15-16; Matt 14:32; Mark 7:37; Heb 1:3

John F. MacArthur, Jr.: The Portent: And the men marveled, saying, "what kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" (8:27)

Thaumazo˘ (marveled) refers to extreme amazement and can carry the idea of portending. The men could not imagine what kind of a man Jesus was, that even the winds and the sea obey Him. Mark reports that, along with their great amazement, the men were also "very much afraid" (4:41). They were now more afraid of the one who had stilled the storm than they had been of the storm itself. Many of them had encountered dangerous storms, but none had encountered such supernatural power as Jesus here displayed.

After God had declared His great power and majesty, Job exclaimed, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6). When Isaiah "saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple," he declared, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isa 6:1, 5). After Daniel beheld the Lord, he testified: "No strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength. But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground" (Dan 10:8-9). When Peter saw Jesus miraculously provide the great catch of fish, "he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’" (Luke 5:8). When Paul encountered the risen Christ on the Damascus road, "he fell to the ground… And though his eyes were open, he could see nothing" (Acts 9:4, 8).

God’s majesty is so overwhelming that when He displays Himself in even a small part of His glory, men cannot stand in His presence. These disciples suddenly realized that God was standing in the very boat with them, and they were terrified by His power and His holiness. On a similar and later occasion Peter walked on the water. But when the wind came up, he became afraid, and Jesus not only held up His faithless disciple but also caused the wind to stop. "And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, ‘You are certainly God’s Son!’" (Matt 14:29-33).

The same Christ who stilled the Sea of Galilee is the Christ who keeps every atom and every star in its orbit. He keeps the universe in balance and provides for each plant and animal. One day He is coming to restore the world that sin defiled, to make completely new the heavens and the earth. Even now He is the God who gives eternal life to those who trust in Him, and who will calm their every storm and give strength for their every tragedy.

From Matthew Henry's Commentary:

When winds and waves assault my keel,
He doth preserve it, He doth steer,
ev’n when the boat seems most to reel.
Storms are the triumph of His art;
though He may close his eyes, yet not His heart.

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A Message for Children: Mark 4:37-39
Object: life jacket
An old friend of mine really likes to go fishing. I saw him a few weeks ago and he drove all the way to North Dakota to go fishing. Another time he told me a fish story of being on Lake Michigan. Another time he had a really scary fish story and this time it had nothing to do with fish. It was when he was fishing on Lake Michigan that a storm came up. The waves flipped his boat over and all he had to hang on to was a cooler they had taken along for their food and drinks. He should have had one of these on, but he didn’t. They call this a life jacket. It will save your life by keeping you afloat if you should fall out of the boat.
In the Gospel story that I just read, it shows us who Jesus is and how much He loves us. Jesus was very tired from teaching people, so they got into the boat and went over to the other side of the Lake the Bible calls the Sea of Galilee. This lake is on very low ground between some mountains. It doesn’t take much for the warm air around the lake to collide with the wind and the cooler air in the mountains and you have a big storm on your hands. And it can come very quickly.
Jesus was so tired that He was sleeping right through the storm. That teaches us that He is a real human being just as we are. I’ve slept through some big thunderstorms and I’ll bet you have too. The disciples were really worried about this storm and they woke up Jesus with a shout: "Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?" That’s when the man Jesus showed that He is also God’s Son. He spoke to the wind and the waves and told them to sit down and shut up. And they did!
Jesus saved their lives that day, just the way my friend would have been saved by this life jacket. Jesus saved us by allowing Himself to be crucified. Then He rose from death and saves us from sin and death. When He calmed the wind, He told them: Don’t you have any faith?
So put on the life jacket that we call faith. Jesus will keep you floating your whole life and will fish you out of the lake when you fall out of the boat. After all, He is our Lord and Savior.

+   +   +

Option #2: "God Reconciles Presbyterians!"
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
Point: Because Jesus walked the walk, we talk the talk.
Problem: We don't necessarily see all people as those for whom Christ died and, accordingly, don't always talk the talk.
Promise: Because God counts our sins against Jesus, we are reconciled with Him and, empowered and inspired by the Holy Spirit, announce that reconciliation to others.
1. Radio is a wonderful movie about a poor boy with a developmental handicap who loves football. At one poignant moment in the movie, Radio, the main character, is given many Christmas presents. He promptly takes all his gifts, wraps them up, puts them in his grocery cart--which he takes with him everywhere--and begins to deliver them to his needy neighbors. It’s his way of sharing his love for them. But along comes the new deputy in town, who assumes that Radio has stolen the gifts in his cart. He promptly arrests Radio and throws him into jail. (Michael Wollman)
2. A little girl and her brother loved to watch professional baseball on television. They each dreamed of being a batgirl or batboy for a home game. One day as their mother was shopping at the grocery store, she entered the children’s names in a contest that the store was having. Some time later, while his sister was out playing, the boy answered the phone. He couldn’t believe it. He’d won the contest! He was invited to be the honorary batboy for the next home game. What’s more, his sister had won too! She was to be the honorary batgirl the same night! The boy was so excited he ran up stairs to tell his mom. Oops! Halfway up the steps he remembered--he’d forgotten something! Back down the stairs, out the door, and shouting--his sister had to hear too! Dear Christian brothers and sisters, the news that Jesus has exchanged our sin for his righteousness, our death for his eternal life and glory in heaven, is infinitely more wonderful, and God has made us ambassadors to shout that news to everybody else to whom it belongs, to everyone (2 Cor 5:18–20). Let’s not forget something so important. (Michael Wollman)
3. sunecho {soon-ekh'-o}, v14: to hold together any whole, lest it fall to pieces or something fall away from it; to hold together with constraint, to compress; to press together with the hand; to hold one's ears, to shut the heavens that it may not rain; to press on every side; of a besieged city; of a strait, that forces a ship into a narrow channel; of a cattle squeeze, that pushing in on each side, forcing the beast into a position where it cannot move so the farmer can administer medication; to hold completely; to hold fast; of a prisoner; metaphorically, to be held by, closely occupied with any business; in teaching the word; to constrain, oppress, of ills laying hold of one and distressing him; to be held with, afflicted with, suffering from; to urge, impel; of the soul. (Blue Letter Bible/Strong's)
4.katallasso {kat-al-las'-so}, v18: to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value; to reconcile (those who are at variance); return to favour with, be reconciled to one; to receive one into favour. (Ibid)
5.presbeuo {pres-byoo'-o}, v20: to be older, prior by birth or in age; to be an ambassador, act as an ambassador. (Ibid)
6. When we wake up in the morning, we don't just think about how we should look for work, but how can we look like ambassadors for Christ today. (Timothy Hoyer)
7. What are you going to do now that you don't have to do anything? (Gerhard Forde)


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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 12:59:53 PM