Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Praying "Here Kitty, Kitty" and Getting the Lion of Judah

In Mark 4:37, as Jesus was in the boat with his disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee, we read that a furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. The words “furious squall” are, in the Greek language, “anemou megale.” “Anemou” means “violent wind.” “Megale” means “great,” or “huge” (like when you “mega-size” your meal). The disciples – many of them – were experienced fishermen, and this was their fishing lake. They’d seen a lot of bad weather, but never anything like this. The boat was filled with water, and they cried out “We’re going to drown!”

As the disciples were bailing water and rowing and doing who-knows-what-else experienced fishermen would do, Jesus was sleeping. They wake him up – “Jesus, don’t you care if we drown?”

When Jesus awoke, he took care of the situation. He didn’t do it by bailing 10 times harder than the disciples, causing them to be amazed at his furious bailing and crying out “Now I know Jesus is the Son of God!” No. Instead, Jesus “rebuked” the storm. And he told it to “Be still,” which means, literally, “be muzzled.” This storm was a “perfect storm” sent by Satan to stop Jesus and his people from carrying out the mission of bringing in the Kingdom of God. It was “perfect” because it left the experienced fishermen with no skills or tools to get out of it. But because it was demonically inspired, what was needed was for Jesus to do just what he did whenever he encountered a demon; viz., rebuke it and muzzle it.

The result was that the Sea of Galilee became “galene megale”: mega-calm.

Mark 4:21 then reads, They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" Why were they terrified? Shouldn’t they be cheering and yelling “Yeah for Jesus! He calmed the storm! He saved our lives!” Instead they were “ephobethesan phobon megan.” Which means: they were terrified with mega-terror. Why?

It was then that they stared at Jesus and asked, “Who is this man, that even the wind and waves obey him?” There’s something about Jesus that is not only supernatural but preternatural; that is, supernatural in an uncanny sense.

I heard of a pastor who once told his congregation, “People, we prayed for Jesus to show up by saying “Here kitty, kitty,” and what we got instead was the Lion of Judah.”

On a recent Sunday I felt God tell me, as I was preaching, “Invite the Lion of Judah into our midst.” And so, if you were there, you heard me do that. Now we will begin to see that the One Who is in the boat with us is even greater, even more “terrible and awe-inspiring,” even more uncannily powerful, then we have ever seen.