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Mark 4:38

ESV 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?”
NIV Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'
NASB And yet Jesus Himself 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?'
CSB He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher! Don't you care that we're going to die? "
NLT Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, 'Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?'
KJV And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

What does Mark 4:38 mean?

Adrift in a violent storm that threatens to swamp and capsize the boat, the disciples look to Jesus. The "cushion" Jesus is sleeping on may have been a sandbag used for ballast or an extra seat used for passengers. Either way, it wasn't designed for comfort. But Jesus is exhausted. His short ministry has been characterized by crowds of people (Mark 3:7–10; 4:1–2), little chance to eat (Mark 3:20), and not much rest (Mark 1:32–35). Not even a water-logged boat rocked by fierce waves can wake Him up.

Is it reasonable for the twelve to be afraid? To this point, the twelve have seen Jesus heal physical maladies, cast out demons, teach mobs, and argue with religious leaders. As miraculous as His powers are, the twelve have yet to see anything that indicates He has authority over natural phenomenon. Still they wake Him, not necessarily expecting Him to rescue them, but to invite Him into their panic.

In a crisis, the disciples go back to what they know. Storms on the Sea of Galilee are too dangerous for even the most skilled fisherman. Peter, Andrew, James, and John are out of their depth. But Jesus is calling them to be more than their worldly roles. He is calling them to give their lives over to Him. He has told them His plans for them, and they should trust that He will see them to completion (Mark 1:17; 3:13–14). But even more so, they must learn to fully give their lives to Him for His purposes. For ten of them, that will mean martyrdom, and for one it will mean exile.
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