Food for Thought-This Is Why I’m Frightened, Jesus (Reflections on Mark 4:35-41)


The disciples are in a serious storm, somewhere in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. This is a real storm. While countless preachers will turn this real world meteorological event into a metaphorical moment, Mark is seeking to describe a moment when an actual boat is about to sink. The disciples feared for their lives. The boat in question wasn’t their “lives” in the sense of an overwhelming sense of obligations, stress, and financial debt, addiction to drugs, alcohol, or pornography. They were in a sinking boat. Jesus, also a passenger in this boat, seemed oblivious to the danger. It was as if he didn’t care if they (or he) lived or died. Recognizing this fear, he posed a question, “Why are you frightened? Don’t you have faith yet?”

I want to step back from the inevitable boat metaphors and storm analogies. It’s Jesus’ question that I want to try and answer. May I, as a Christian, preacher, teacher, trained theologian, believer, and imperfect follower of the Christ try to answer the question he posed?

I’m frightened because of the world we live in. I’m frightened because I live in a world where people can be minding their own business, having a Bible study on a Wednesday night (as I often do), and be murdered in their church. Point blank Jesus, this is why I’m frightened. I’m frightened because the world remains in a perpetual state of war. I’m frightened because of the blame everyone is willing to place on each other while no one is willing to look toward you for honest answers. I’m frightened, not because of some natural phenomena, but because I know how easy it is to be killed for being a Christian or a pastor in this sometimes hateful world we call home.

Yes, I have faith. And sometimes, it’s shaken when people get killed for no reason at all. It gets shaken because I am normal human being. I’d be worried if my faith wasn’t tested by these recent events. But I have faith, Jesus, I have faith. I will continue to have faith.   It may be faith with scars, bruises, and dings but Jesus; I will have faith.