Focus passage: Mark 6:45-56
Bob sat and just stared out the window. He wanted to be anywhere but sitting at the kitchen table this morning. The hospital bills were piled high and he wasn’t sure how to pay them all. The doctor said Bob’s wife Judy was doing better, but Bob couldn’t see it. With his head in his hands, he felt helpless. He began to cry as he prayed to Jesus. Why Lord? Don’t you care about us? Give me a sign so that I know what to do. As he prayed, he opened up the Bible and came to the story of the disciples helpless in the boat. In the margin of his bible, he had written “Helplessness can teach us to lean on Jesus. He began to pray for Jesus’ help.
· They were straining and getting nowhere v.48a It had been a long day watching Jesus teach the people along the remote eastern shore of the lake. His miracle of feeding the 5000 had excited the people and so Jesus had sent the disciples away because he feared the crowds. It had seemed like a good idea, but the seas had become rough and they strained at the oars. They had rowed for hours in the darkness and made no progress. Why did you leave us Lord? We are so tired.
· Everything has turned against them v.48b It had been going so well. The disciples had successfully healed the sick and cast out demons. The time on the eastern shore was to be a time of rest and teaching. The quiet was destroyed with 5000 men and their families coming to this remote place to see Jesus. Now the sea had turned against them. With the wind in their face, the experienced fishermen began to wonder if they would live to see the other side. They had felt so powerful working at Jesus’ side, now they were helpless scared.
· They felt like Jesus didn’t care v.48c Sometime after 3 AM, Jesus passed in front of the boat so that they could see Him and take comfort. Jesus had seen how desperate they where and had come to help. Sadly, it never occurred to them that it was Jesus. They were not expecting Him to have power over the seas. In the darkness with the first light over the horizon, they thought that they had seen a ghost. Perhaps it was the grim reaper ready to take them to death. Instead reaching out, they were afraid and cried out for their lives.
Sometimes, we have to recognize our helplessness so that we will turn to the only one who can give us real help – Jesus. It was in the boat that the disciples learned to trust Jesus. In their time of helplessness, Jesus called to them from the water letting them hear his familiar voice and calming their fears. The overconfident disciples had become helpless enough to need Jesus. His presence encouraged them and helped them to see that everything was not lost. The moment that Bob opened his bible and saw the words “Helplessness can teach us to lean on Jesus”, his mood began to change. It was the familiar voice of the savior crying out to him that he was not alone. It was time to trust Jesus and to ask Jesus to help instead of just trying to push the oars by himself. Jesus could calm any storm.