Feb. 20, 2017

Who is this that even the wind and sea obey Him?

Mark 4:33-5:17 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; 34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.

35 On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. 37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 Jesus Himself 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 got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

5 They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain; because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Constantly, night and day, he was screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and gashing himself with stones. Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; and shouting with a loud voice, he said, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” For He had been saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he said to Him, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 And he began to implore Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now there was a large herd of swine feeding nearby on the mountain. 12 The demons implored Him, saying, “Send us into the swine so that we may enter them.” 13 Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the swine; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea.

14 Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and observed the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the “legion”; and they became frightened. 16 Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the swine. 17 And they began to implore Him to leave their region.


We know that in the garden, God created Adam and Eve and gave them dominion, authority over the earth and creation. (Genesis 1:28)  In falling to the deception of the devil, they lost that authority and dominion to him. In today’s text though, we see that Jesus has authority unlike other men. He commands the sea and the storm saying:  “Hush, be still.” and they obey. The disciples respond saying:   “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”     He commands thousands of demons to leave a man and they too obey. The people of the region respond not in reverence and awe of His authority but rather:  they began to implore Him to leave their region.    It would seem that there was no question about Jesus authority in creation. Nor was there any question in the spiritual realm. It was only among fallen people, those who had lost their authority through deception and sin. Creation and all of the spiritual realm are still subject and obedient to the authority of Jesus. After the cross and the resurrection, Jesus said:  “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matthew 28:18)    Yet we see that even now, on this side of Jesus victory, we still live in a fallen world. Sin and the consequences of sin still affect us every day. The devil and his demons are still active and impacting people around the world.

How is it that we fail to walk in the fullness of the authority we have in Christ even after He has secured the victory and yet Jesus Himself walked in the fullness of authority as a man, even before the cross? The answer undoubtedly has several layers. It is difficult for our finite minds to comprehend the infinite and eternal God. Two things that are part of Jesus authority when He was here as a man are:   First He was always connected to the Father. Although Jesus was fully man in body, He maintained communion and communication with the Father through unceasing prayer. In John 5:19-20, Jesus says:  “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.”        Jesus authority was based partly in that He walked and worked according to the will of the Father. While man had relinquished his authority and dominion over creation, scripture provides us evidence that God did not. The great flood and the plagues on Egypt are both proof that God retained authority over creation. Jesus walked with God, exercising that authority.

The second thing Jesus had was that after His baptism, we are told the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit of God who hovered over the earth in the beginning at the creation of all things. The Holy Spirit is the power behind the spoken word of God. When God spoke in creation, the Holy Spirit brought the things of earth into alignment with the things of the kingdom of heaven. From the beginning of His ministry Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven was/is at hand. Jesus encouraged His disciples to seek the things of heaven rather than the things of earth. He encouraged us to focus on the eternal not the temporal. He taught us to pray: Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.     The authority Jesus walked in, even before the cross was the power of the Holy Spirit to bring the things of earth into alignment with the will of God and the order of things in heaven.

There is I believe another vital element to Jesus authority here on earth. 1 Peter 1:19-21 says:   but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.       Revelation 13:8 says:    All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.        God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit and all of the kingdom of heaven are eternal. They operate and exist outside of our finite time. Even before He went to the cross, Jesus walked in the finished work of the cross, God’s plan, God’s provision for the fall of man, from the foundation of the world.

Even today Jesus calls us to be focused on kingdom things, to focus on the eternal not the temporal. We are to walk by faith, not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7) faith in the unseen realities of heaven rather than the circumstances of earth. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said all authority was given to Him in heaven and on earth. In Matthew 16 when Jesus said He would build His church, He said He would give us the “keys to the kingdom of heaven.”    To walk in the authority of Jesus, to do the things He did, we need not to continue to wrestle with the circumstances of this fallen world, but rather we need to use the keys to the kingdom of heaven to release the eternal finished work of the cross. We need to, like Jesus, walk in step with the Father, only doing what He is doing. We need to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God who brings the things of earth into alignment with the things of heaven. On the cross Jesus finished the work of redemption and restoration. We need not to fight to try to take earth and our dominion over it back from the devil, but rather walk in the eternal finished work of the cross, God’s plan and provision from the foundation of the world. We need to live the prayer of Jesus.

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.   Amen.