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The Authority of Jesus

(Mark 4:35 - 5:13)

Lesson 3 -- second quarter 2003
March 16, 2003

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications

Doesn't He care?

Life has a way of tossing us about, threatening to overwhelm us. We experience conflicts and misunderstandings in some relationships. We find ourselves with obligations we can hardly meet. We can't seem to rise to our own expectations as well as those of others. We face decisions that confound our ability to discern the right answers. We go through times of defeat and discouragement. We get a traffic ticket, damage a borrowed item, and have a fender bender in the parking lot . . . all in the same morning. We seem unable to overcome a persistent illness. We lose our job or flunk a course of study or learn our affection has been refused.

I know. That's a negative paragraph, even though it's so brief and incomplete. But you don't need me to continue in that vein. You already know myriad ways in which the winds and waves of life threaten to swamp our puny little boats. And in it all we can begin to feel as though not a single person cares or understands, not even God.

What assurance do I have that Jesus cares that my life has become so tumultuous? How do you know that He cares when you are nigh to sinking and perishing? Our best answer to these questions lies in His own Word to us. So as the thunder crashes and the waves roll, as the wind blasts our tattered clothes around us and the lightning flashes so close we smell the ozone, let's strengthen our hearts in His calming presence and love.

"For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people" (1 Samuel 12:22).

"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD" (Psalm 27:14).

"The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Psalm 34:15).

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved" (Psalm 55:22).

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength" (Isaiah 40:11,29).

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (1 Peter 5:7).

Are you making Him wait to help you?

Jesus cared for the well-being and safety of His disciples. He had no less interest in keeping the boat afloat than they did. Yet He slept despite their frantic efforts and mounting fears. Why? It seems likely that they kept Him waiting. I'm sure He wanted to help, but He was waiting. Allow me a little surmising to help us see ourselves in them.

They didn't want to bother Him. He had more important things going. He had had a hard day and was exhausted. Besides, hadn't they already bothered Him plenty of times before. Then there's the unthinkable (except in this kind of circumstance, of course): He might not care about them and their predicament. No need to ask for His help . . . at least not just yet.

They wanted to do their part. That seemed wise enough. They knew God carries no one through the clouds on flowery beds of ease. They knew God expected them to do what they could. Besides, they didn't want to look silly or fearful if just a little more effort with the buckets and oars would keep them afloat till things settled down a tad.

They could take care of themselves. With that many experienced seamen (and other quick learners) aboard, they weren't exactly helpless, were they? Of course not! They didn't need His help. At least not until it was almost "too late."

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