Dancin' in the Deep

I love hearing people pray because it is an insight into their personal relationship with Jesus. Since March 2020, I hear this prayer a lot: Lord, give us peace in this time. 

I've prayed it. Have you? Peace from the pandemic, shootings/riots, American politics, China vs. HK, wildfires on the West Coast, working from home, schooling from home, etc... This has not been an easy year. We ask the Prince of Peace for peace. What does this peace look like? Ultimately, Jesus came for one reason: to give peace between God and Man. But from that restored union flows peace into every other area of our lives.  Let's study two passages from Scripture about this peace. 

The first passage is from Mark 4:35-41. Read the whole passage first. Then let's examine these few verses:

38 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?” 39 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. 40 He said to them, Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? 41 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?”

There are a few observations to make:

Accusation: Do You not care that we are about to die, Jesus?

Action: Jesus gets up, and commands the wind/waves "Peace! Be still!" The "be still" phrase is an interesting one since this is what is used to get an animal to obey. It's like telling your puppy, "Hush!"

Result: And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Question: "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" They accused Jesus of not caring. Jesus asked them why they had no faith in Him. Did they really think He would let them die? Did they really think He didn't have the powers to change the circumstances? Why are they afraid when He is in the boat with them?

Worship: The disciples see Jesus for who He is: Creator God. Only God could command His "pet" (wind/waves) to "HUSH!" and it would quickly sit and be a "good boy."

Fast forward to another time the disciples are on a boat. Jesus had died. The disciples resume and go back to what they knew: a life of fishing. Jesus stands on the shore and calls out to them to cast their net to the other side and they haul in a load. John 21:7 captures a beautiful moment:

That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

The disciples who were once afraid are no longer afraid. Peter, who early on in his journey with Jesus had walked on water and sank, now knows that Jesus would not let him sink. They've seen Jesus command nature, which is why John recognized and said, "It is the Lord!" Peter, full of confidence and peace, throws himself into the sea and swims towards Jesus. 

What are we to make of these passages? What does it teach us about the peace we ask from Jesus? John 14, Jesus promises us, " 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. "

The peace Jesus gives us is NOT AS THE WORLD GIVES. The world's peace is circumstantial (ex: "We've found a cure and vaccine for Covid19!"). 
The peace Jesus promises us is that He will be with us despite the circumstance! This peace truly is one that the world cannot give because it doesn't even possess it. The world's peace only comes when circumstances work out well. The peace Jesus gives is that He will be with us even when the circumstances do not go our way. This is seen in the rest of the John 14 passage. He gives us His Holy Spirit. His promise is that He will be with us always, even until the end of age (Matthew 28). 

The peace from Jesus 
is not tied to the present 
but tied to His presence

Look back at the two passages we read earlier. During the storm, Jesus' expectation and assumption is that His disciples would have peace solely based on the fact that He is with them. Presence. In Matthew 14, Peter walked out on to the waves because Jesus was there-- Jesus was in the waves. Presence. As Peter matured in his faith/knowledge of Jesus, he is no longer afraid of circumstances. In John 21, when Peter sees the resurrected Christ, he jumps into the water. Why? Jesus' presence

The peace Jesus gives us is that He will be in every circumstance. It is such a radical peace that Peter would rather leave the "safety" of the boat and jump into the water to be near the Master. 

His Words are still powerful: "Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid"(John 14:27). He is with us

Please, will you listen to this song with me? Let these words sink in deep (pun intended). Turn it into your prayer. Let the Yun girls encourage you with Scriptural truths. Alexi reads some passages from Psalms/Exodus. Meditate and let it comfort your heart. Let their beautiful harmony harmonize your heart with the voice of Jesus.  

"Peace, be still!"
You are here so it is well
Even when my eyes can't see
I will trust the Voice that speaks

Can you think of a Brothers/Sisters in Christ who could be reminded of the peace that Jesus gives? Share this with them, pray for them, and pray with them! 


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