Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

First Faith ~ Jesus Calms the Wild Sea

Rembrandt ~ Jesus Calms the Stormy Sea

With the coming of evening that same day, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let us cross over to the other side.' And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat, and there were other boats with him. Then a great hurricane wind began to blow, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But Jesus was in the stern, his head on the the cushion, asleep. They woke  him and said to him, 'Master, do you not care? We are lost!'  And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Silence, Be quiet!'  And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm. Then he said to them, 'Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?' They were overcome with awe and said to one another. 'Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.' Mark 4:35-41

Sitting in a kind of basin, the Sea of Galilee is surrounded by mountainous terrain. And when cold air comes over the hills and meets the warm air coming off the water, terrific storms can form quickly. So picture a little armada of boats in the evening time. Jesus (who is sleeping) and some disciples are in one of those boats. 

Or maybe Jesus was just pretending to be asleep to test the faith of the disciples. Jesus is always trying to draw faith out of us. So they wake Jesus who is quite stern in taking on the wind and waves, as if the elements are personal. "Be bound" is actually a better translation than "Be Quiet." Anyway, the men are left wondering about who Jesus is that "wind and sea obey him."

The Greek word for faith, "Have you still no faith" doesn't refer to believing but about utter trust in the power of God. So the disciples are just beginning to understand that Jesus is taking them into a completely new order or realm. First-faith.

Maybe the words of Jesus in the first verses, "Let us go to the other side," aren't so much about the other side of the lake as it is about the other side of trust. Ah! When I trust God completely I've really made a crossing. And the doorway into this kind of crossing over is humility: putting aside so much of my agenda, supposed knowledge, self-reliance and power claims, coming upon the other side ~ the new land  of reliance upon God's good lead. Do you recall when that first began to happen to  you?

I remember as a young boy serving the old Mass and kneeling at the left foot of the priest at the Consecration. I would ring the little bell with my left hand and raise the edge of the priest's chasuble a bit with my right. Talk about crossing over into a different realm! Remember the poor, broken Gospel woman, all exhausted and bleeded out, and pressed in by the crowd saying of Jesus, "If only I can touch his clothes, I will be well." Mark 5:28. It was like that: crossing over into first faith.

I'd say we've all got a crossing over into first-faith story to tell.


  1. Very powerful. Thank you.for sharing your thoughts and personal experience.

  2. It seems its never dull following Jesus. Everywhere He goes, there is excitement. Faith increases because He always saves the day. They trust, He will cure those who are not even there. Sometimes its hard to trust.

  3. Sadly, in most of our churches we are not even willing to allow people to touch the statues where people gather in large numbers during Novenas/Pilgrimages. The statues are either kept at a distance or in glass-covering - keeping the PEOPLE AWAY. When we are not even willing to allow people to touch statues made by man, I wonder if we will ever allow ALL people to touch the Living Lord or receive Him in the form of Bread. We have a long way to go in crossing over from this side to the other. "Let the children come to me," says the Lord.