Who then was He really? Even nature obeyed Him!!

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

JOB 38:1, 8-11

The Lord addressed Job out of the storm and said: Who shut within doors the sea, when it burst forth from the womb; when I made the clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling bands? When I set limits for it and fastened the bar of its door, and said: Thus far shall you come but no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stilled!

2 CORINTHIANS 5:14-17

Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

MARK 4:35-41

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

What seems to be just another Jesus’ miracle, the “calming of the storm” episode was recounted in all the Synoptic Gospels, bearing its own significance to both Jesus’ disciples and us.

In the First Reading from the Book of Job, God revealed Himself powerful and omnipotent, defeating and controlling all other forces. In the Gospel reading, Jesus displayed this mighty power – the power over all the elements of nature. He was certainly unlike other miracle workers. Truly, “who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

To the disciples, it was not only the subduing authority of Jesus that “filled them with great awe”, but also the manner and the immediacy of His word of command. His sovereignty recalled the story of Genesis – God spoke and creation happened. God’s dominion over cosmic powers was acknowledged by ancient Israel (Ps 89:9, 107:25-30, Prv 30:4). If Jesus had the ability to control nature by mere words, who then was He really? A question not only posed by the disciples but by us too. A question that invites a response, a response of faith — that He is God.

Our Lord never promised us a rose garden (cf Jn 16:33) but what was true of the God of Israel is also true of Jesus who is the living God. If the God of Israel took control of all things and protected His people, so does Jesus. He was in the midst of the disciples then; He is in the midst of us now. Our lives may be like the boat, tossed up and down in the raging sea and battered by the howling wind. But if Jesus can calm the storm with one word, He surely can calm the “storms” of our lives. His only request is that we have faith in Him. Let us not hear Him repeating to us the words He said to His disciples: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Posted: June 21, 2015

May Tam

 
May Tam, Bachelor of Social Science (University of Hong Kong), Master of Theological Studies (University of Toronto)


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