Why Jesus Rebukes His Disciples on the Stormy Sea – A Commentary on Mark 4:35-41

Jesus rebukes the disciples

It’s a well-known story. Jesus and his disciples are crossing over to the other side of the lake. Jesus falls asleep in the boat. A furious storm breaks out over the sea. The boat fills with water and Jesus remains asleep. Panicked, the disciples cry out to Jesus. He wakes and calms the storm. After Jesus quiets the wind and the waves, he turns to his disciples and says “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” So why this rebuke from Jesus? Why does he criticize the disciples? What, precisely, is Jesus bothered with? I’m finding this passage absolutely fascinating because I think there is something really subtle going on that I have just noticed for the first time. 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no … Read More

The Best Robe – the Parable of the Prodigal Son

light through forest

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him….Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ (Luke 15:22-24, the Parable of the Prodigal Son) It’s common to hear in Christian circles the saying that Jesus would have come to earth and died for just one sinner. It’s meant to encourage each of us to know that Jesus would have sacrificed himself ‘just for me,’ but I had always found it difficult to accept. It’s not that I didn’t intellectually assent to the statement; in fact, I believe it to be true. It’s just that it never felt real. It would never stir my emotions. I had a hard time really sensing that God would love me so deeply. Then I read the parable of the prodigal son in a new way. In fact, really just one part of it has changed the way I see my relationship with God. I’ve been meditating on the robe.