A guest post for this week by Rev. James Rowe of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston, NY
When it comes to preaching this text, it could be interesting to end the sermon with the same question: "Who then is this, that even the wind and sea obey him?" We preachers tend to tie our sermons off with pretty bows and end with "amen" or some Pauline phrase, but Mark's Gospel gives us a variety of texts where the lack of conclusion opens us up to the possibility of what God is doing in the "storms" of the world and in our lives.
Rob's response to Jim's post:
In Jim's post, he put something in parenthesis that I wanted to unpack. He wrote, "The Greek for awake is actually 'arose'." Indeed, the word here is εγειρω, which also means raised up or even resurrected. Once again, a subtle foreshadowing of the unfolding mystery in Mark's Gospel. In this passage of Jesus calming the storm, the word μεγας (mega, meaning big) shows up three times: a BIG storm; a BIG calm and a BIG fear. When Jesus power is revealed, it brings both calm and fear, an ironic, if not dialectical combination of emotions. Perhaps the bigger the demonstration, the bigger the fear! This also points to the resurrection in Mark's Gospel, when the full revelation of Jesus power is accompanied by great calm in the tomb but also also fear in the first witnesses (φοβεω, Mark 16.8).
One other little grammar point on fear:
Cognate Accusative: This fancy term is when the verb and object both are from the same word, like "I rode a ride." It is considered bad English, but is quite common in Hebrew and in NT Greek. In this case, Mark says they "feared a big fear" (εφοβηθησαν φοβον) The weird conjugation of an aorist passive 3rd person plural makes this tough to see. But it is really simple: They feared a big fear!