Who Is This Man?
Mark 4:41 (NLT)... The disciples were terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
When I was younger, I stood in a line at the airport with a group of people who were traveling to a conference together. As we stood in the boarding area waiting for our flight number to be called, a man approached me and said, “You look like you have Jesus all over you.” I was maybe 17, at the time and had no idea what he was talking about. I remember looking around at my traveling companions and thinking “who is this man?” As I asked others, no one knew who the man was who had spoken so profoundly into my life.
In the passage today, the disciples asked the same question thousands of years before, I asked my question, “Who is this man?” The difference is that the disciples “knew Jesus”. They had walked with Jesus and talked with him for weeks, months, and yet they still didn’t know him. They were amazed that he stopped the winds and waves with just the simple words, “Peace Be Still”.
Earlier in the day, the disciples had seen Jesus minister to a multitude of people (Mark 4:1-34). As the evening drew near, Jesus told his disciples, “let’s go over to the other side” (Mark 4:35). I can’t help but to think that since Jesus was the son of the all-knowing and omnipotent, God - that He knew that this would be a lesson for His disciples.
Elevation, Growth, Promotion are often preceded by a storm. Going over to the other side often means a storm has to come first. But in order to get to it, we have to go through it. During the storm, Jesus slept. He gave no direction, no instructions for navigating the storm in the moment. The lessons had already taken place. This was the test and the teacher was silent. He was asleep. The disciples, forgetting all the previous lessons, woke Jesus in a panic, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38). At that moment, Jesus got up and rebuked the winds and waves and turned to the disciples and asked, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:30-40).
The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir has a song that says, “How many times, must I prove how much I love you? How many ways must my love for you, I show? How many times must I rescue you from trouble for you to know just how much I love you?” Earlier that day before Jesus took the disciples to the other side, he taught and preached all day long using parables. In the chapters prior to chapter 4, example after example was shown of Jesus’ character and nature. In Mark 1: he drove out an impure spirit, healed Simon’s mother-in-law, healed a man with leprosy, healed and drove out demons. Mark 1:33 said that “the whole town gathered at the door” of the house where Jesus was staying. In Mark 2, he healed a paralyzed man whose friends’ faith moved Jesus. They brought him on a bed and cut a hole in the roof to get to Jesus. In Mark 3, Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath and in Mark 4, the disciples who had seen him teach, preach and perform all of these miracles had the audacity to ask, Who is this man?
Whew! I can imagine Jesus saying to them, didn't you see me heal the paralyzed man? Did you see the demons that I drove out? Did you even listen to my parable about the mustard seed faith? I wanted to question their faith much like Jesus did (Mark 4:40). But then I remembered that I was much like the disciples. How many miracles had Jesus performed in my life? How many prayers had He answered? How many times had He healed my sick body? How many times had He saved me from myself? And yet when the storms come that will inevitably bless me and take me to the “other side” - to increase, elevation and promotion, I falter as well and cry out to God and ask, “Teacher, Do you care if I perish?!”
Have you ever been convicted, found guilty? As I read this passage my condemnation of the disciples turned into conviction of myself. How could I point one finger at the disciples when I too had questioned the Father and asked him with all my knowledge of Him, with all that I had experienced with him, with all that I had been through with him, “Who is this man”?
I am so glad that He loves me and that He forgives me. Take some time today to reflect on your journey with Christ. If you and I are honest, we’ve all had our “Who is this man” moment? But I am so glad for repentance. Live in the Red today knowing that you are LOVED and FORGIVEN!