Mark 4:38

Jesus was in the stern asleep on the cushion; and the disciples roused him and cried, “Teacher! Is it nothing to you that we are lost?”


don’t you care we are drowning
is a question every threatened group
yells at persecutors and observers

at least recognize our suffering
see yourself in our plight
this must be witnessed recorded

students everywhere are tempted to give up
new concepts are too daunting
old resources no longer suffice

teacher teacher teacher they beseech
don’t you care we are failing
bail us out give us the answer


When in trouble, we cherish a, “but”.

All is not lost; there is still a way. If it had come earlier we would have been saved some angst.

In trying to prove our mettle, we find we have put off important connections. Not only has community suffered, so have we. Finally, we can no longer put off acknowledging our fear.

What more is there to be done?

Swanson recognizes a “tension in this scene is between people who know danger when they see it and Jesus who is asleep”. He suggests that the question asked of Jesus, “works well if they are really asking Jesus to get busy and act as if he were a part of the crew. Honor this truth when you play the scene.”

This acted-out parable pushes us back to the importance of partnership and growing together as a source of overall maturity of both individuals and community.

Several commentators bring Jonah into the picture (Jonah 1:5–6). They connect Jonah sleeping below deck with Jesus sleeping in the back of the boat. Both the crew of the ship Jonah is on and the disciples in the boat with Jesus ask them to do their job of connecting with G*D so things can be put right and we will be saved.

Both crews are fox-hole invokers. Until things are beyond us, G*D is beyond us. Prayer is a fix-it technique, not a process of deepening relationships, growing together.

Here Jesus is not thrown into the sea but called to take his part bailing water from the belly of the boat. Those with ears are invited to hear beyond words, to work on a changed heart.

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