How Does Mark Characterize Jesus and His Disciples at Mark 4 35 41?

When we read Mark 4:35-41, we see a powerful portrayal of Jesus and his disciples. In this passage, Mark characterizes Jesus as a divinely powerful figure who commands the forces of nature, while his disciples are portrayed as fearful and lacking in faith.

The Storm at Sea

The passage begins with Jesus and his disciples getting into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. As they set off, a great storm arises, with waves crashing over the boat and threatening to capsize it. The disciples are terrified, but Jesus is asleep in the stern of the boat.

Jesus as a Powerful Figure

Despite being asleep, Jesus is portrayed as having complete control over the situation. When the disciples wake him up and ask if he cares that they are about to perish, he rebukes them for their lack of faith and then proceeds to calm the storm with just a few words.

The Disciples’ Fear

In contrast to Jesus’ calm and power, the disciples are characterized as fearful and lacking in faith. They panic when the storm arises and wake Jesus up in a state of desperation. Even after Jesus calms the storm, they are left wondering who this man is that even the winds and waves obey him.

Lack of Faith

The disciples’ lack of faith is highlighted throughout this passage. They doubt that Jesus cares about them when they are in danger, they panic when faced with an external threat, and they marvel at his power instead of trusting in it. This lack of faith stands in contrast to Jesus’ unwavering confidence in God’s power.

  • Jesus’ rebuke: When Jesus wakes up and sees his disciples panicking, he rebukes them for their lack of faith: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
  • Their response: The disciples are left wondering who this man is that even the winds and waves obey him, indicating their uncertainty and lack of faith in Jesus’ divine power.

Conclusion

In Mark 4:35-41, we see a powerful portrayal of Jesus and his disciples. Jesus is characterized as a divinely powerful figure who commands the forces of nature, while his disciples are portrayed as fearful and lacking in faith. This passage reminds us of the importance of trusting in God’s power and having faith even in the midst of external threats.