Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
With this message we shall begin to consider another long section of the Gospel of Mark, a section concerned with the move of the Slave-Savior’s gospel service (4:35—10:52). In this message we shall consider 4:35—5:43. In this portion of the Gospel of Mark we have three matters: the silencing of the wind and the stilling of the sea for the voyage (4:35-41), the casting out of a legion of demons (5:1-20), and the healing of a woman with a flow of blood and the raising up of a dead girl (5:21-43).
Chapter four of Mark is a wonderful chapter concerned with the seed, the gene, of the kingdom and its full development. It may be surprising that at the end of this chapter we have the record of a storm on the sea. Perhaps you are wondering how the last part of chapter four fits in with 4:1-34, in which we have the parables of the kingdom.
First, chapter four of Mark speaks concerning the kingdom of God. Then immediately after the record of the kingdom, there is a record of rebellion. Mark 4:37 says that a great windstorm came, and the waves beat into the boat. This is a picture of rebellion. By this we see that, at the end of this chapter on the kingdom of God, rebellion is still present.
It is not sufficient to use a single word as the topic for chapter four. In this chapter we first have the kingdom and then the subduing of rebellion. From God’s point of view, the kingdom is the development of God Himself as the seed of life. But from the point of view of God’s enemy, the kingdom is the subduing of rebellion.
Immediately after the Slave-Savior spoke a strong word on the kingdom of God, He said to His disciples, “Let us pass over to the other side. And leaving the crowd, they take Him along, as He was, in the boat, and the other boats were with Him” (vv. 35-36). The rebel, Satan, then used his angels in the air and his demons in the water to stir up rebellion. Because of this “a great windstorm came, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling” (v. 37). This storm made it very difficult for the boat carrying the Lord and His disciples to cross the sea.
Verse 38 says, “And He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. And they awake Him and say to Him, Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” The Slave-Savior was sleeping and resting in the boat beaten by the windstorm, but at the same time the disciples were threatened by the storm. This indicates that He was above the threatening windstorm and was not bothered by it. As long as the disciples had Him with them in their boat they should, by faith in Him (v. 40), share His rest and enjoy His peace.
The Lord was resting peacefully, but the disciples were frightened. Because of their fear, they awakened the sleeping Slave-Savior and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Verse 39 says, “And being awakened, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Be silent! Be still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” While the disciples were following Him, the Slave-Savior, as a Man with divine authority, controlled the storm that threatened them.
Why did the Lord rebuke the wind and speak to the sea? A rebuke is not given to things without life, but to things with personality. The Slave-Savior rebuked the wind and commanded the sea to be still because in the wind were the fallen angels of Satan (Eph. 6:12), and in the sea were the demons (Matt. 8:32). The fallen angels in the air and the demons in the water collaborated to frustrate the Slave-Savior from going to the other side of the sea because they knew that He would cast out the demons there (Mark 5:1-20).
The Lord rebuked the wind and commanded the sea to be silent because of the rebellious angels and demons that were behind the scene. The Lord knew that the storm was instigated by these angels and demons in order to frustrate Him from going to the other side of the sea to cast out the legion of demons. When the Lord cast out those demons, that was the coming of the kingdom.
Now we can see that in chapter four the Lord spoke concerning the kingdom, and in chapter five He carried out the kingdom through the casting out of demons. Between the word concerning the kingdom and the carrying out of the kingdom, there is the incident of the stormy sea. After the Lord rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea, the wind ceased and there was a great calm, for the rebellion of the evil angels in the air and the demons in the water was subdued. Therefore, in 4:35-41 we see the kingdom as the power to subdue rebellion.
The sequence in this chapter is significant. Immediately after the unveiling of the kingdom, we have the subduing of rebellion. This is for the carrying out of the kingdom of God.
Mark 4:41 says that the disciples “feared greatly and said to one another, Who then is this, that both the wind and the sea obey Him?” The Lord’s rebuking of the wind and the sea not only displayed the Slave-Savior’s divine authority, but also testified that He was the very Creator of the universe (Gen. 1:9; Job 38:8-11).
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