Does Jesus Care: Mark 4:35-41

Focus Passage: Mark 4:35-41 (GW)

35 That evening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side.”

36 Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus along in a boat just as he was. Other boats were with him.

37 A violent windstorm came up. The waves were breaking into the boat so that it was quickly filling up. 38 But he was sleeping on a cushion in the back of the boat.

So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?”

39 Then he got up, ordered the wind to stop, and said to the sea, “Be still, absolutely still!” The wind stopped blowing, and the sea became very calm.

40 He asked them, “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith yet?”

41 They were overcome with fear and asked each other, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the sea obey him!”

Read Mark 4:35-41 in context and/or in other translations on!

While reading the event in this passage, a question that is asked and a piece of information both stood out to me. The question is one that those of us who have been around the Bible know quite well, and it is one that perhaps we have asked in one way or another.

In the middle of the storm, the disciples catch Jesus sleeping and they wake Him up asking, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to die?” (v. 38b)

This is a powerful question because it puts God and Jesus both on the spot. It is not a question of ability, it is a question of motive: “Do you care about us?”

This question is one most of us have asked God in one way or another. “God, don’t you care about my _______ who is fighting this sickness?” or “God, don’t you care about my _______ who is making so many bad choices and who has fallen so far away from You?”

In the question the disciples cry out to Jesus as they are waking Him up, they have a question we all arrive at eventually, but there is also a piece of information included in the opening of this passage, and it is something that many of us gloss over, but it actually helps shed light on God.

Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus along in a boat just as he was. Other boats were with him.” (v. 36)

The disciples left in a boat to cross to the other side, and other boats leave with them. When we think of this event, we only think of the disciples and Jesus in one boat, but there may have been half a dozen boats headed for the other side of the lake. In a storm, one of the last objects you want to crash into you is another boat. Boats that are well constructed can face water beating against them, but solid objects are a different matter.

When the disciples use the word “we” in their question, I wonder if they are focused in on only those in their boat, or if they are also thinking of those in the boats that left with them. We have a group of people who are following Jesus, and these disciples are asking if Jesus is simply going to abandon them when they need Him the most.

However, Jesus responds by silencing the storm – which, regardless of the frame of mind the disciples were in when they asked the question, answers the prayers of everyone in all the boats still on the lake. Not only is it an answer to the prayers of the disciples in the boat with Jesus, but also it answers the prayers of those followers in the other boats that were with them.

This leads me to conclude that God/Jesus answers prayers in the way that it both benefits the individual and the broader group. Sometimes His answer is to walk with you in a trial because with that experience, you will be stronger and more able in the future to help others who are facing similar struggles.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

Subscribe to this blog and never miss an insight.