A Kingdom of Peace
Mark 4:35-41 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 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?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Following the initial parables spoken by Jesus recorded in Mark 4, there is an incident describing a terrible storm and a further revelation of the Kingdom of God. As Jesus and the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee a great storm arose that was so severe that even the fishermen who were in the boat were afraid. In spite of the fact that the disciples had just heard the teachings of Jesus about the Kingdom of God which cannot be seen by the naked eye in which Jesus Christ reigns they did not yet understand. How often do we hear a message from God and while we hear with our ears it does not penetrate our heart- it doesn’t change us? The Christ was among them but they did not yet know what that meant. They believed and yet they did not yet understand.
The disciples were in the Kingdom of God and in the presence of the King and yet they were afraid. Why? Because they saw a terrible storm. They did not recognize that the Kingdom of God was manifest in their presence. They were in the same boat as Jesus Christ. They had repented and believed in Him and yet they were afraid. Because Jesus was asleep they lost sight of the reality that the Kingdom of God was in their presence and they still did not yet understand the authority that He has. Jesus awoke and calmed the storm and then questioned their faith. The fear that the disciples felt towards the sea turned to a fear in awe at the man who was in their presence. They had witnessed that the Kingdom of God was manifest in their presence. They probably at this point began to understand in their heart what the Kingdom of God looks like in a manner of which they did not understand before. Jesus had performed miracles before which excited the people and even the disciples but here they are beginning to understand who He is as the Christ and what the Kingdom of God is. It is a spiritual kingdom that can also be seen manifest here in the physical world. It is a future kingdom which is yet to be revealed. The signs and wonders performed by the prophets of old in the nation of Israel gave glimpses of the future kingdom of God but the disciples themselves were seeing it being manifest for the first time with its King and Ruler revealed- not yet in all His fullness which could only happen after Jesus rose from the dead, but as a man walking and talking upon this earth as they were. No one has yet seen Jesus Christ reigning over all the earth in His full authority. This will occur after His second coming. But here, with His first coming, and Jesus beginning His public ministry the disciples were seeing something new and astounding! They had reason to be amazed and fearful at what Jesus could do for He manifests the Kingdom of God upon earth!
And the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace. No matter who we are we experience all kinds of chaos in our lives as a result of the fall and of sin. Partly because of our own sin and the sins of others and even because the creation itself was cursed as a result of man’s sin. None of us can escape experiencing much trouble and chaos at different points in our lives. And if you have lived a life filled with evil the chaos can be virtually unending. The chaos can carry on from day to day and from year to year as if it could never end. It can seem normal. It can seem as if this is the only way to live. But the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of peace. There is no chaos in the Kingdom of God. And if you are in the presence of Jesus Christ you can know peace no matter what surrounds you. Not only can He calm the storms as they come against you but even in the storms you can know peace. You can rest as Jesus was able to rest in the boat in the midst of a terrible storm. If you live in fear of Jesus Christ- in awe of His majesty and splendor and if you are in the Kingdom of God and know Him, you do not need to fear the chaos around you. He is all you need. He will manifest His Kingdom in your presence and you will see His future perfect Kingdom of which only the righteous may enter. There will be no trouble, no temptation, no evil in His future kingdom. Do you desire this Kingdom? Do live with your eyes not only set upon Jesus Christ but upon what is to come? Do you know the peace of God?
Anyone can know the peace of God if only you are willing to surrender your life to Him. God can completely change the life of any person from a life filled with chaos to a life filled with peace in His presence. Is this your heart’s desire? No one is beyond hope. Anyone can be saved. But we must see Jesus Christ for who He really is. We must set our eyes upon Him and come to a true understanding of what Jesus Christ did for us in dying in our place upon the cross and rising from the dead. He endured the chaos of the cross so that you can know peace. He entered this world with all its evil in order to save you and me if we will only repent and believe. How great is the man who was asleep in the boat! How amazing it is that He came to this earth to save us!
Pastor Murray Hack
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