What does Mark 4:39 mean?
ESV: 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.
NIV: He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
NASB: And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Hush, be still.' And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.
CSB: He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Silence! Be still! " The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
NLT: When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Silence! Be still!' Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.
KJV: And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
The word translated "rebuke" is from the Greek root word epitimao. Literally, it means to assign or acknowledge the value of something. In this case, Jesus judges that the wind is not wanted. It's the same word used when Jesus confronts demons (Mark 1:25; 3:12; 9:25).

"Peace" is from the Greek root word siopao which literally means to be quiet or to refrain from speaking. "Still" comes from the Greek root word phimoo which is to keep quiet as with a muzzle, keep under control, or silence. It's interesting that Jesus addresses elements of the weather like we would a living creature. While God gave humans authority over animals and plants (Genesis 1:28), Jesus created everything on earth and, therefore, has dominion over all creation (Colossians 1:16).

In the Old Testament, we see that only God can control the weather (Psalm 65:7; 89:9; 107:23–32), although those who make their living from the sea can usually predict it (Matthew 16:3). Some Old Testament prophets announce when God would bring or take away rain, or pray for rain based on God's instructions, but they never command weather directly and by their own authority. The disciples have seen Jesus' authority over injuries and illnesses, as well as demons, but they are only beginning to understand who Jesus really is (Mark 4:41). Jesus calms the storm because the disciples are afraid of dying. They need to see that His authority extends to the external circumstances they will meet.

That does not mean that He will deliver them from all harm; this is one of the great ironies in the Christian life. God can control everything and make all things right and we must have faith in Him and be content even when He doesn't act (Philippians 4:12–13).

In Acts 27:13–38, Paul and his entourage get caught in a horrible storm that tears apart their ship and forces them to swim to safety. But because of his faith, Paul is able to use the circumstances to earn the trust of the crew and minister to the people they meet on the island (Acts 28:7–10). Our own spiritual stability is more important than God's exhibition of power over our troubles.
Verse Context:
Mark 4:35–41 is part of a passage expounding on Jesus' authority. He has demonstrated power over sickness (Mark 3:7–10), demons (Mark 1:21–26), and the Sabbath (Mark 2:23–28). Now He controls the wind and the sea. Next, He will conquer a legion of demons (Mark 5:1–13), social conventions (Mark 5:25–34), and death (Mark 5:21–24, 35–43). In this miracle, Jesus displays His authority over nature, specifically conditions that His disciples know and rightfully fear. The story of the storm is also recorded in Matthew 8:23–27 and Luke 8:22–25.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks in parables to the assembled crowd, giving them an opportunity to decide how much spiritual truth they want to absorb. The disciples, wanting to learn more, ask Jesus to explain the meaning of the parables He has taught. As Jesus explains these ideas, He demonstrates that a person's spiritual knowledge is based on their willingness to pursue truth. After describing Jesus' teaching in some detail, the Gospel of Mark describes how Jesus calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee.
Chapter Context:
Mark 3 explores the different ways people react to Jesus' teaching and miracles. They either follow Him, use Him, hide Him, or destroy Him. In Mark 4, Jesus explains why people react the way they do. He uses parables to explain who is serious about learning from Him. The softer a person's heart is, the more truth God will reveal. Soon, the twelve will also spread Jesus' message, although they will not be responsible for the spiritual growth of those who believe. The following chapter returns to depicting Jesus' miracles, including two of His most famous.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/28/2024 7:02:47 PM
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