THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Mark: Jesus The Perfect Servant Of God
Part II: The Perfect Service Of Jesus, The Perfect Servant Of God, Mark 1:1-10:52
O. Christ's Practical Application On Spiritual Production With God's Word
A. We learned in our first lesson in this series that Mark's Gospel presents the perfect service of God's Perfect Servant, Jesus, with Mark's focus of having rebounded unto upright Christian service from personal failure.
B. Sometimes that failure results from not heeding God's James 1:22 call for us to be doers and not mere hearers of the Word lest we deceive ourselves, and Mark 4:35-41 in its context illustrates this key lesson for us:
II. Christ's Practical Application On Spiritual Production With God's Word, Mark 4:35-41.
A. The "same day" Jesus had given His Mark 4:2-34 parables on spiritual growth and productivity from heeding God's Word, that evening, He had His disciples pass over with Him to the other side of the sea, Mark 4:35.
B. Accordingly, they entered a ship, and accompanied with other small boats, they began to cross the sea when there arose a sudden, great storm of wind and the waves began to fill the ship with water, Mark 4:36-37.
C. Jesus was asleep on a leather rowing cushion at the stern (Mark 4:38a; B. K. C., N. T., p. 122), so the disciples woke Him up, fearfully expressing, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" (Mark 3:38b)
D. Jesus arose, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace, be still," Mark 3:39a. Two great miracles thus instantly occurred: the wind stopped and the sea suddenly became very calm, Mark 3:39b.
E. Jesus then asked, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 3:40), and His questions rebuked the disciples in view of what He had just taught them in His parables earlier that day (as follows):
1. Before they had crossed the sea, Jesus had told them all to pass over to the other side, NOT to start out trying to cross over only to drown in the midst of the sea! (Mark 4:35) Thus, Jesus being the Son of God by the Father's own testimony at His baptism by John (Mark 1:11), gave the Word of God that the disciples were SUPPOSED to BELIEVE, so their unbelief was inexcusable!
2. Of note, a negative factor that Jesus had named in His Parable of the Sower earlier that day had hindered the disciples' capacity to heed this Word, leading to their unproductive unbelief (as follows):
a. The disciples had become anxious over the effects of the wind and the waves that threatened to sink the boat, thus ending their lives in a tumultuous sea too dangerous for them to survive in it, Mark 4:37, 38.
b. However, Jesus had earlier that day explained how the seed of God's Word can be hindered in its growth in a hearer's heart if the hearer is burdened with such anxious cares, Mark 4:7 with 4:18-19.
c. Consequently, instead of relaxing and enjoying the opportunity to witness how God was going to deliver them from the trial at hand, the disciples had become afraid, anxiously waking Jesus and wondering if He did not care if they perished, Mark 4:40 with 4:38. Their failure to heed the Word had led them to miss the opportunity to anticipate the wonderful way Jesus was about to deliver them, and, instead, to replace it with unproductive, faithless fear and added sinful annoyance toward Jesus!
F. However, even after Jesus' rebuke for their unbelief and its resulting problems, the disciples still demonstrated a lack of faith, revealing they faced more such trials en route to becoming productive in the Word, Mark 4:41:
1. Instead of learning the lesson of applying the Parable of the Sower, the disciples continued to be very fearful, this time fearful of Jesus Himself as they said to one another, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41)
2. Sadly, they still had not heeded the Father's audible testimony at Jesus' baptism that Christ was the Son of God, Mark 1:11. Their hardness of heart had led to Satan's removing awareness of that claim and its applicability to this situation in line with the Parable of the Sower warning back in Mark 4:3-4, 14-15.
3. The disciples thus still had a long way to go to mature in applying the Word of God for blessing at the hundredfold level (Mark 4:20), what would involve more trials until they finally learned to apply it!
Lesson: It is NOT ENOUGH to KNOW HOW to heed Scripture -- we must APPLY it to enjoy full productivity and blessing, actually HEEDING Jesus' Mark 4:1-34 parables, or keep struggling with fear-inducing trials until we do.
Application: (1) May we trust in Jesus as the Son of God for salvation, Mark 1:11 with John 20:31. (2) May we be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving ourselves (Jas. 1:22) to remain ignorant of God's work in our lives and so bound to face more unsavory trials versus enjoying His great peace!