Jump Start # 2848
Mark 4:41 “And they became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
Just who is Jesus? Our verse is the reaction the disciples had when Jesus calmed the sea. Wet, scared, thinking death was imminent, they witness Jesus stopping the storm. No one can do that. No one can control the weather. We can predict the weather. We can endure the weather. But no one can change the weather. Jesus did.
And, what is fascinating about this question they ask, “Who then is this…” is who answers it for them. It wasn’t Jesus. He didn’t say, “I’m God.” As that boat landed upon the shore, and we flip to the next chapter in Mark, coming running and screaming at Jesus is a demon possessed man. He must have been frightful to see. Bloodied from cutting himself with stones, naked, possibly dangling chains that he had broken, it is this demon possessed man who answers the question.
He cries out with a loud voice, “What do I have to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me.” And, with those words, the disciples have their answer. Who is Jesus?
First, this demon possessed man knew Jesus’ name. It is very likely that this was the first time they met. The demon knew.
Second, this demon possessed man knew who Jesus was. He was the Son of the Most High God. He is God’s son. Is it any wonder that He can change the weather, raise the dead, cure the leper and in a moment, cast these demons out. He’s God.
Third, this demon possessed man knew what Jesus could do. He not only could cast the demons out, but He had the authority and power to cast those demons into torment. The demons were no match for Jesus. They plead for sympathy. They gladly would rather be in pigs than in torment. But they can’t get into the pigs without Jesus’ permission.
Who then is this? This is Jesus. Right before them, the apostles got the answer to their question. It came from a most unusual source. It was rightly spoken.
And, all of that reminds us of some lessons:
First, truth is truth, no matter who says it. Sometimes truth is spoken from very unlikely sources, like our demon possessed man in Mark 5. Sometimes things are rightly said by those who are not living rightly. Sometimes things are spoken true by those who do not believe in truth. Sometimes it is our children who remind us of how we ought to behave. The frightened disciples were astonished at what Jesus could do. The demons were not. They knew.
Second, we can discount and ignore what is said because of who says it. How easily these disciples could have thought, ‘What does a demon know about Jesus?’ But the demons know. The demons believe. The same could be said of us. We may not pay attention to what someone says because of who they are. What do they know, we think? Yet, they may know exactly what we don’t. We do not have a corner on truth. We are not the only ones who understand the principles of God.
Third, God reveals Himself through nature and a number of means. Paul in Romans 1 says that God’s eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in the world. The birds, Jesus tells us in Matthew 6, remind us of God’s divine care. The flowers, also in Matthew 6, reminds us of God’s creative beauty. We must have the Bible to learn the principles of righteous living, but God is not confined in a book. All around us, from the songbird, to the rainbow, to the gentle rain, God’s presence and hands are seen.
Fourth, as the fifth chapter of Mark unfolds, the disciples question, “Who then is this” gets answered over and over again. Three rapid miracles fill Mark five. Demons. Disease. Death. And, what we see is that Jesus continually redefines the impossible. No one could control the demon possessed man. Jesus cast the demons out. The woman with the issue of blood could not be cured. Jesus did. And, the little girl who died at the end of the chapter was raised by Jesus. He showed that He was the Lord of Heaven and Earth. He showed compassion in all three miracles. Jesus does care. He showed that He has all authority. He showed that He was greater than Satan. Death, Satan’s greatest tool, destroyed by Jesus. Disease, sent by Satan, cured. Unclean spirits, went fleeing by the power of God.
Who is this? This is Jesus. This is the one who can turn your life around. This is the one who can forgive your sins. This is the one who can fill your heart with hope and goodness. This is the one that you need to bow to and submit your will to. This is the one you need to follow. His name is Jesus.