The 400 year long, “Silence of Heaven,” had been broken with the coming of John the Baptiser. Prophecy (and thus prophets) had returned to Israel. The Age of Messiah was at hand. But was Messiah just to be a prophet beyond prophets, or someone even greater?
The Anointed One of God, was to be more! But how much more? The evidence presented to His disciples on the Sea of Galilee, gives us insight.
Psalm 107: 28 and 29 speaks of the mighty works of God, “Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” God: the creator, sustainer, and master of the universe alone stills the waters.
No wonder then, in Mark 4:35-41, that his followers marvel when He, almost word for word fulfills the wording of the Psalm, “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 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?”
This is a great example of the lack of understanding of even His closest companions. It is amazing that at least four of them were experienced mariners (fishermen), and they go to this carpenter from Nazareth for assistance. This point has been hotly debated. Were they seeking the miraculous? The closing of the passage suggests not. If the boat were indeed in peril, they wanted “practical” help. “Hey Jesus, help us bale.”
Whatever their intention, they are not prepared for the response. Essentially, “Why are you worried?” “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm (vs 40).”
Their reaction? “They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him (vs 41)!”
Jesus had just did what only God could do. He had just put into practice Psalm 107. He did not only this but, as John puts it, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written (John 21:25).” He not only quieted the sea, He made it (Genesis 1:9-10, John 1:10).
“Who is this man?” Jesus was no mere prophet. He was Messiah. He was God! He is the Word become incarnate. He is Emmanuel, “God with us.” That is who this man is.