What does Mark 4:40 mean?
ESV: He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”
NIV: He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'
NASB: And He said to them, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'
CSB: Then he said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith? "
NLT: Then he asked them, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'
KJV: And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
NKJV: But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Verse Commentary:
The storm on the Sea of Galilee must have been exceptionally fierce to frighten Andrew, Peter, James, and John—experienced fishermen. The twelve have awakened Jesus who calms the storm and then addresses them and their lack of faith.

The twelve are not wrong to wake Jesus. It would have been appropriate to warn Him of the danger, to ask Him to help bail the water, or to suggest He may need to get ready to swim. Violent storms and little ships are an unpleasant combination, and if the twelve had thought about it, they could have even asked if Jesus could do something about the wind.

But they aren't quite so level-headed. They fear for their lives and, like the crowd who desired healing (Mark 3:7–10), grasp at Jesus to do something. Jesus has told them He has a purpose for them (Mark 1:17; 3:13–14) which they haven't fulfilled yet. That should reassure them that they will not perish that night. But in the moment, the faith that draws them closer than family (Mark 3:31–35) is not enough to trust Him with their lives.

Jesus understands human limitations. He only teaches the crowds as much as they can hear (Mark 4:33), letting His simpler messages percolate in their hearts until they are ready for more. But He expects the twelve to be beyond such limitations. They are the good soil that accepts the word to "bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold" (Mark 4:20). They are open to His message (Mark 4:23), absorbing all they can get (Mark 4:24–25). He gives them "the secret of the kingdom of God" (Mark 4:11). But their lack of faith put them in danger of being the seed sown in the shallow, rocky ground, that sprouts quickly and withers under hardships (Mark 4:16–17).

Despite our limitations (Mark 4:33), Jesus expects us to do the best we can with what we have. Bring the biggest "measure" we have (Mark 4:24), and serve Him with all He gives us (Matthew 25:14–30). The disciples have seen Jesus heal physical ailments, cast out demons, and now quiet a storm. In Mark 5, they will see even more.
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 5/29/2024 1:41:11 PM
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