Monday Minute With Pastor Chris McCool – When Jesus Isn’t There (August 9, 2021)

We’ve looked already at situations where Jesus seemed to be asleep on the boat, and where it seemed that He got there “too late.” But what happens when it seems that Jesus isn’t there at all? The disciples faced just such a scenario in Mark 6.

Beginning in verse 45, we read that Jesus “constrained” His disciples to get into the boat and pass over to the other side. To “constrain” means to compel, or to force someone to do something. The point is this: the disciples were doing EXACTLY what Jesus wanted them to do. They were in the very center of God’s will!

And yet, in just a few minutes, they will face a storm that threatened to overwhelm them. But wait, you say: I thought when you were in the center of God’s will, everything will work out just right for you? What’s up with the storm?

The answer is found in the fact that we live in a sin-cursed world. Sometimes, people want to blame God for the tragedies and trials of this life; in fact, most of these can be attributed to the fact that Adam ate of the forbidden fruit and plunged the universe into sin! The consequence of Adam’s fall is that we have more trouble than peace in this world.

Remember, in this episode, Jesus was not with them in the boat! He had stayed on the land, praying and communing with His Father. So it appears the disciples are alone; what are they to do, when Jesus isn’t there?

I think you already know the answer: even when it appears that Jesus is not around, He is nonetheless close by and ready to help. Notice Mark 6:48: He SAW them, in the midst of the storm! Now, a mortal man would not have been able to see the disciples for the fierce winds and clouds of the storm. But this was no limitation to the Savior! He saw them, as they toiled and rowed, and He came to them!

I find it amazing that Jesus used the very thing that the disciples feared in order to get to them. You see, they were terrified of the water – it appeared they were about to drown! Yet Jesus walked on the very thing they were afraid of, in order to get to them in the midst of the storm. My friends, that thing you fear – sickness, financial ruin, even death – the Lord is able to overrule it and come to you even through it!

Finally, notice what He did when He got there: He said, “It is I, be not afraid.” The Greek phrase there literally means “I am.” What a message to those Jewish disciples! I AM, He said; and they would have known this to be a clear declaration of His Godhood. And notice that He calmed them before He calmed the storm. My friends, you can have peace in the midst of the storms of life! You can have peace at the hospital, on the battlefield, even in the morgue, because peace is not the absence of problems, it is the presence of Jesus!

So what happens when Jesus isn’t there?  The same thing that happens when He is asleep on your boat, or when He gets there too late: HE WILL COME TO YOU! The truth is, He is ALWAYS there, even when you think He is asleep or gets there too late, or even if you believe He is absent from the situation: He is ALWAYS with you!

So, when He was asleep in our boat, we should have no fear. When He gets there too late, we should realize He is NEVER late. And when He isn’t there, we need to remember that the very thing that you fear, He will use to walk to your little vessel, and He will say “I am,” and climb into your vessel with you (v. 51), bringing you peace like you’ve never known.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor