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God’s Word for You

Mark 4:40-41 Faith

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, May 28, 2022

40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (NIV)

Jesus’ question, “Do you still have no faith?” can also be translated, “Don’t you have faith yet?” The “not yet” idea is our usual understanding of the little particle oupo (οὔπω), as when Jesus told his mother at Cana, “It is not yet my time” (John 2:4), or “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4). The faith Jesus was looking for was trust, complete trust.

Faith is not just a matter of knowing about Christ, but it’s the whole matter of trusting in him. The kind of trust God looks for in us is the trust that the newborn infant has for his mother. He relies on her for everything: to be fed, to be covered, to be kept warm, to be carried, to be safe, and everything else in life. There is nothing, not one thing, that an infant insists on doing for himself. He needs his mother to do it all. When someone else picks him up, he might even cry, and this is how he shows that he loves her and trusts her and no one else. If this changes later on, that’s not part of my illustration. It’s the trust of the newborn that God looks for in you and me: “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

The disciples knew Jesus and knew about his miracles, but now they had seen something new. Formerly, Jesus had done things that were like the miracles of the prophets, especially Elijah at the end of 1 Kings and Elisha at the beginning of 2 Kings. But now? Now Jesus was doing things in the same way that God the Father does things. And Jesus would say: “Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (John 5:19). There in John 5, homoios (ὁμοίως) means “in the same way.” Jesus performs his acts of power in just the same way as God the Father, because Jesus is God the Son. The disciples were realizing that this man was not the Father’s inferior, like a vice-god or a demigod, but as the Father’s equal. To be the Son of God is to be God. This is why they were asking, “Who is this?” The creation itself obeys him; not just germs and demons, but everything: wind, rain, tide, and waves obey him; the sky, the climate, the work of the sun, moon and stars upon the world—all of these things obey him. He is God! For man to disobey is a folly greater than any other. For man to reject God would be like an infant, just seconds from the womb, saying to his mother: “I’ll do it all myself. Go away.”

O Israel, put your trust in the Lord (Psalm 115:9).

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith
About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please visit the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church website.


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