Storm and Swine –
He is My Lord, So I Am Fine
On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was.
And other little boats were also with Him.
And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.
And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”
And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:35-41
1. Where is Your Faith?
(The Word in the Storm)
Jesus had said to His disciples, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
Did His disciples obey Him? Yes, they took Him along in the boat as He was. Then what happened? A great windstorm arose.
Remember Jonah? He also ended up in a great storm. That was because of his disobedience. But the disciples got into a great storm because of their obedience to the Lord. (Wiersbe)
Has your obedience to the Lord also led you in some kind of storm in your life? Take courage, this word is for you.
So Jesus said that they would cross over to the other side. The disciples obeyed Him but did they believe Him? No, because when a great windstorm arose, they had thought they were perishing. They thought Jesus did not care about them perishing.
When we are facing a storm, when things go badly, do we see it as an indication that we have gotten into the wrong boat? Do we see that we have joined the wrong ministry? Perhaps we think we have been mistaken about God’s leading? Or perhaps we have been mistaken about God’s love?
But Jesus was in the boat in the storm. He was sleeping. Now His disciples were experienced fishermen who understood the sea conditions on the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is well known for its sudden, violent storms. The severity of this storm is evident in the fact that the disciples (many of which were experienced fishermen on this very sea) were terrified. They knew the windstorm was a great one. How could Jesus be sleeping in such a life-threatening situation? We know that Jesus could sleep because His trust was in the love and care of His Father in heaven. What about us? Amidst a storm, where is our faith? Do we know about God but we do not know God? Psalm 9:10 says those who know Him trust in Him.
So Jesus rebuked the wind and waves to be quiet and they obeyed Him. But listen, we should read on to Chapter 5. They did cross over to the other side.
Before we read Chapter 5, the Lord wants you to know this. Jesus is the Word, and when the Word is in the storm, what the Word says will happen. No wonder Jesus could sleep soundly. He is Lord of the weather and the sea. Surely He who has authority over the elements is God Himself. In the span of a few moments, the disciples saw both the complete humanity of Jesus (in His tired sleep) and the fullness of His deity. They saw Jesus for who He is: truly man and truly God. (Guzik)
Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!”
Jesus spoke the Word. During the storm, God has put a word in our hearts. Speak the Word. We have the Living Word in us! Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. Declare the Word.
Do you know the Word intimately? Do you have the Word in your heart, that you may be steadfast in your faith during the storms of life? Where is your faith? Is your faith in Christ?
2. Tell Them What Great Things the Lord Has Done for You!
(The Victory After the Storm)
What happened when they crossed over?
Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.
And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains.
And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.
And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”
Then He asked him, “What is your name?”
And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”
Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.
Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains.
So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.”
And at once Jesus gave them permission.
Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.
So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country.
And they went out to see what it was that had happened.
Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind.
And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine.
Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.
And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him.
However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”
And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
The storm was linked to what happened when they crossed over. Jesus rebuked the storm, so it was likely that the storm was an attempt by the enemy to stop Jesus and His disciples from crossing over.
When Jesus had come out of the boat, immediately the unclean spirits detected the authority of Jesus. He commanded them to leave the man they possessed. And they begged Him to let them enter the swine. The unclean spirits knew they had to leave the man but they refused to leave the territory. The demons inhabiting this man did not want to be imprisoned in the abyss, which is the bottomless pit described in Revelation 9:11. Apparently, it is some place of imprisonment for certain demonic spirits. These demons did not want to become inactive.
Jesus had authority over unclean spirits. The unclean spirits could not enter the swine unless Jesus gave permission. We have Jesus as our protector and portion. We have not been given the spirit of fear but the spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). See also the destructive nature of demonic spirits? John 10:10 says the thief, the enemy does not come except to steal, and to kill and destroy.
The demon-possessed man was thus set free. And he began to declare all that Jesus had done for him. It was victory for the delivered man. He found freedom in Christ. He went around declaring Christ.
The storm was the first line to stop Jesus to enter the territory. Is the storm in your lives also stopping you from stepping into the freedom and victory on the other side? There is a crossover season for each one of us – from faith to faith, from glory to glory, from sin to righteousness, from bondage to freedom. These are destiny moments.
God told Joshua when he was assigned to lead the children of Israel to possess the land God has given them, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”
God keeps saying possess the land. When we are facing storms, we could be very near possessing the territory. You see, the key was that man with unclean spirits. He was the key to the whole region. Yet there was torment within him. There was a fight for his spirit.
We are the key to our family, our ministry, our destiny. Get ready. Are you fighting for your family, your ministry, your destiny? We are about to get a breakthrough. Fight the good fight of faith. Facing storms? God is about to give us the territory. God is about to give us the victory.
Are you facing storms today? Know that as you keep walking in obedience and faith in God, you are crossing over to God’s amazing victory for you and your loved ones and your community. All glory to God.