May 31, 2023

May 31, 2023

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
May 31, 2023

I'm going to ask you to turn to a couple of passages of Scripture, and I'm going to try to collate them and let you see why they can be connected when we think of both of these passages

Mark 4:37, “And a great windstorm arose and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Now turn to 1 Peter 5:6,7, (I think Peter is also the main character back in that storm situation in terms of what he says.) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.”

Last Sunday we studied that storm miracle in chapter 4 of Mark and we heard the disciples cry out. Mark says it was a plural cry, “them”. It doesn't simply point out one individual, but here's what they say in Mark 4, “Master, don't you care that we are perishing?” It wasn't a plea, it wasn't a request, it was more of an accusation or a rebuke, “Don't you care?” Why were they saying that or why did they rebuke Jesus because he was sleeping? I don't know what they expected, but that's what they said. And I said that the verbals of Mark's gospel are different from what we find in Luke 8 and Matthew 4. Mark gives us a much more harsh verbal statement on the part of the disciples and again I think the reason is that what we have in Mark's gospel is the apostle Peter. He stands behind that gospel account and it has the flavor of an eyewitness account.

And so very likely, I think this is legitimate, he initiated and spearheaded the verbal attack on Jesus. “Master, don't you care?” He was that kind of a pushy aggressive guy at times wasn't he? And so you have these terrified disciples in this boat in the midst of the storm. They think they're going to die, but they soon find out, don't they, how much Jesus cares because he silences the wind and the waves. He exercises his authority and power to deliver them from that terrible hurricane storm.

But here's something I think we have to keep in mind, how do we keep ourselves from reacting like that in the midst of the storm? When the trials of life come, the storms of life, what will keep us from reacting like those disciples? Well, there might be many things that we might be able to do, but one thing for sure, Brethren, is we need to remind ourselves, (I would say if you can do it on a daily basis) how much God cares. Frequently at least, regularly remind ourselves how much he cares. Isn't that what Jesus does? And they would have heard this in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gives us two illustrations of birds and flowers. And he tells us that God takes care of the birds and God takes care of the flowers. He provides for their food and he also clothes these flowers so they look beautiful, greater than even the clothes of a king like Solomon. Have you ever seen a hungry robin? No, there are generally not hungry robins or skinny robins. And in terms of flowers, have you ever seen an ugly flower, even dandelions are pretty. So Jesus asked the question in light of God’s care of the birds and also of the flowers, “Are you of not more value than they?” And the answer is obviously yes. We are of more value than little flowers and little birds. And the point is, well, why then do you ever doubt or question that he'll take care of you? If he takes care of the little things, birds and flowers, he'll take care of you and you're one of his children, he's a father committed to your care.

And then Jesus later on in that same sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, talks about the Lord's Prayer. Reminding us again how much God cares for us. You think about the prayer. What is it about? It's about God taking care of us in terms of providing for our daily needs, pardoning us of our sins, protecting us from the evil one, not leading us into temptation. It’s really a prayer about God's care.

So let's go back to the question, “Master, don't you care?” What a silly question. Every day he cares in so many wonderful, ordinary ways that we don't always see them. We miss them. He cares for us in wonderful, ordinary, sometimes extraordinary ways. Now again, as I said, Mark 4, I think Peter is behind that rebuke, “Master, don't you care that we are perishing?” That's what he says in Mark 4, but now go to 1 Peter 5. That's why I want to put the two passages together. Look what Peter says here, the same guy, maybe he wrote these words years after looking back even on that storm experience on the Sea of Galilee. But notice this, there's no question in his mind that God cares, look what he says, verse 7, he tells us to cast all our care upon him. Why? For he cares for us.

I think Peter had learned a lesson, a hard good lesson, didn't he, in the storm. God cares, Jesus cares, and here he calls us to pray because he cares. He cares, there's no doubt in his mind now that he cares for us. And I trust, Brethren, that should encourage us to pray, casting all our cares upon him for he cares for us and we can bring all our cares, assured that he will listen and he will take care of our burdens.