Jesus calming the storm, from the Jesus film of 1979.
Bible Readings and Devotion for July 1, 2020
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Devotion for July 1, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Being one of the Twelve Disciples must have been amazing, insightful, scary and overwhelming. Likely it was each of these at the same time. In today’s reading from Mark 4:35-41 we have Mark’s account of Jesus calming the storm.
Early church history indicates that this is likely the remembrances of St. Peter. It was said early on by church leaders that the Gospel of Mark was the written remembrances of the Apostle Peter. He shared the stories and teachings, and Mark, known also as John Mark, put them in an orderly account which we now know as the Gospel of Mark.
So, in this remembrance of Peter we are pointed to the actions of Jesus which tell the world who he truly is. Jesus is one who has the power to calm a wild storm on the Sea of Galilee. This, and other powerful things he does, all point to Jesus being God with us (Emmanuel) and to Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One, the New and Final King in the line of David.
There are four kinds of deeds of power and mercy which point to Jesus being God and the Messiah. These are:
- Power over nature, such as in the calming of the storm.
- Power to heal. We see this discussed in Luke 7:18-23, “18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ ” 21 Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.””
- Power over evil and evil spirits. There are frequent scenes of Jesus casting out demons. Early in his ministry, Jesus is able to withstand the temptations of Satan.
- Power over death itself. Several times he brings dead people back to life. The centerpiece of the Christian Faith is that Jesus, who died on the cross, has now been raised from the dead. St. Paul teaches about the centrality of the true, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians chapter 15. Of special note are verses 12-19, which read, “12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”Our faith in Jesus rises and falls on this truth of the life and ministry of Jesus.
Each of these tell us about who Jesus is and what he has done. Each of these show that he is unique among all of humanity. Each of these is used to bring life and hope and salvation in some way to those whom he serves.
It matters supremely that we seek to understand, to know, to treasure, to celebrate, and to teach these core truths of who Jesus is and what he has done. We must revisit the accounts of and teachings about who he is and what he has done.
In doing so, we will be connected to the events which were amazing, insightful, scary and overwhelming. In doing so, we will be able to respond faithfully through words, worship, service, and witness for Jesus and for others.
Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, you turn us from the old life of sin. Grant that we who are reborn to new life in him may live in righteousness and holiness all our days, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.