BardsFM: Peace Be Still 22-Feb-2021
10-0708 | aborted/republished 06-0813 | PUBLISHED 0836
Jesus utters the words “Peace, be still” in Mark 4:39 in the King James and New King James Versions as well as the English Standard Version and the wording is slightly different in other versions ('quiet' or 'hush' instead of peace).
Jesus’ command occurs near the end of Mark 4:35–41: “When evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” (ESV).
Jesus used the “Peace, be still” to calm a nighttime storm on the Sea of Galilee - in essence, Jesus rebuked the storm in much the same way a teacher might tell an unruly classroom to calm down. Still learning who their Lord truly is, he disciples were naturally awestruck as the wind and waves actually obeyed! At that point in time, they learned that the authority Jesus proclaimed was not of this world but that of God's.
However, it was not only the storm that was raging - the disciples were as well, they were allowing their emotions to control their precedence, their thinking process, their fear. Jesus was asleep during the storm while the disquieted disciples were filled with consternation. In Marke 4:38, we see that they woke Him, saying “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”. This action established their lack of faith. Their question “Don’t you care?” was also an indignant affront to Jesus’ character - of course, Jesus cared for them. As He was with them, their success over the storm is a fact that should have allayed fear - instead, they allowed fear to overcome them. We do, however, need to remember that the disciples were only beginning to grow into their faith.
After rebuking the storm, Jesus issues a rebuke to the disciples as well: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). In essence, He was also saying “Peace, be still” to the disciples. “Calm down, be still.”
When we read the account of Jesus’ saying “Peace, be still” today, we need to remember that Jesus always knows of of our circumstances, and when we trust Him, He will calm the raging inside our souls. When we find ourselves raging and tossing and turning on the inside, Philippians 4:6–7 tells us what to do: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” While it is great to see the storm around us calm down, it is even more important that our souls are calm in the midst of the storm. God has not promised to bring peace to every storm, but He has promised to give us peace through any storm if we will trust Him to take care of us.
From the song “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” by Benton Kevin Stokes and Tony W. Wood...
Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered “Peace, be still.”
He can settle any sea,
But it doesn’t mean He will.
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild;
Sometimes He calms the storm,
And other times He calms His child.
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