They woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ Mark 4:38-40
When the storm raged and the disciples feared, Jesus displayed not only peace but also patience in His response to them.
They had accused Him of not caring that they were perishing. Yet His rebuke wasn’t for them but for the wind and the waves. That is remarkable! No teacher ever had such slow learners as Jesus had in these characters—yet no other students have ever had such a patient and forgiving teacher, either.
While Jesus’ patience was showcased by this episode, it was by no means exclusive to it; throughout His ministry, He consistently displayed patience in response to His disciples’ feelings and failings. In Mark 6, after Jesus had fed 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish, the disciples doubted Him when they saw Him walking on water, yet He lovingly replied, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” (6:50). Later on, Jesus repeatedly instructed them as to the necessity and purpose of His death, despite their lack of humility and understanding (8:31-33; 9:30-32; 10:32-34). Once He had risen, He did not even rebuke the disciples for being surprised by the resurrection He had foretold. Instead, He joyfully and calmly asked them thought-provoking questions and revealed His true identity to them.
We see our own frail faith reflected in the disciples. If we had been with them, we too probably would have been scrambling around in fear and voicing our doubts and accusations to Jesus. Yet still today, Christ shows us patience through our fears and doubts. He does not reject us for a moment of unbelief. He does not dismiss us for cowardice. There is no teacher like Him. Therefore, as recipients of Christ’s long-suffering patience, let us return such patience to others. If you are a parent, coach, manager, ministry leader, teacher, or simply a friend, remember Jesus’ example. If we want God to tolerate our faltering faith, then we should also aim to demonstrate His patience to others, and to ourselves.
Most of all, though, we are not called to follow Jesus’ example but to enjoy His perfections. His patience will not fail. He never neglects or deserts those in His care. Your sins and your struggles cannot push Him beyond the limits of His forbearance. He will be patient with you today. He is your Savior, your Redeemer, your ever-patient Teacher—your Jesus.