Stilling the storm

The storm on the Sea of Galilee

Our middle son, M5, drew this picture in Sunday school this morning. (I don’t have access to a scanner today, hence this is just a photograph. Click for a larger version.)

It depicts the scene in Mark 4:35-41, where Jesus is asleep in the boat as a storm rages and the disciples fear for their lives. (Note the disciples clinging to the mast!)

M5 was at pains to stress that, in his picture, Jesus is in fact just waking up. This, together with the somewhat tomb-like bed in which M5 has placed him, made me realise something I’d never previously noticed about this incident: it prefigures Jesus’ resurrection.

It is as Jesus wakes from sleep that he brings salvation – but also confusion, even terror – to his followers, just as his waking from the sleep of death was subsequently to do.

In Mark 4, Jesus’ first words to the disciples are “Why are you afraid?”, while the disciples “were filled with great awe” (“afraid and amazed”, in Luke’s parallel account). In Mark 16, the angel’s first words to the women are, “Do not be alarmed”, while the women “fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them”.

In each case, though, by faith they – and we – were subsequently able to see these baffling and alarming acts as the power of God breaking into our world in the person of Jesus, with his resurrection stilling the storms of sin, death and hell forever.

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6 Responses to Stilling the storm

  1. Kerri says:

    This is lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. steve martin says:

    Nice work by M5!

    You should be very proud of that boy!

  3. John H says:

    Steve, Kerri: thanks. 🙂

    What struck me most was the fact that Jesus is waking up. Not asleep, not awake, but waking up: the very moment at which the disciples’ situation is transformed.

    Interesting how children can pick up on these things subconsciously which adults are more likely to miss. Every children’s biblical storybook ever shows Jesus standing on the boat shouting “Peace! Be still!”. That’s the adult perspective of what matters. Takes a five-year old to realise that what changes things is not when the grown-up fixes the problem, but when the grown-up turns up ready to fix the problem.

  4. steve martin says:

    “Interesting how children can pick up on these things subconsciously which adults are more likely to miss.”

    “Maybe that is why Jesus said that must become as these little ones.”

  5. Joe says:

    That’s a very good entry. What a great illustration of the faith we need to have as Christians in that story!

  6. pduggie says:

    WOW. I was just asking myself this AM on the way into work “Why do I need to know Jesus was asleep on the boat and then he wakes up and helps us. It can’t just be ‘he’s human and needs sleep too’. But what?”

    Thank you so much for this; I love the connection to the end of Mark.

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