On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 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?” 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. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 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?” (Mark 4:35-41).
It is easy to understand the great fear of the disciples as their little boat takes on water amid this great storm. I would be terrified too! All are saved, of course, when Jesus is awoken and miraculously calms the storm with just a word. Hurrah!
What I had never noticed before in this passage was the disciples’ response after Jesus calmed the storm—”they were filled with great fear.” They were filled with more fear after Jesus calmed the storm than they were in the midst of the great storm when they thought they would perish at the bottom of the sea. We might naturally expect these men to collapse in relief at the passing of the storm. Instead they are filled with great fear? Why? Because they recognized that the real power was not in the storm, but in the man standing before them. They were standing in a little boat, face-to-face, with God Himself. In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah also came face-to-face with God in a vision. Isaiah’s response was the same as those disciples in that little fishing boat; FEAR. Capital F, capital E, capital A, capital R:
“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”(Isaiah 6:5).
So, what do you FEAR?