Lectionary Year B
June 22, 2003
Mark 4:35-41

Step IV: Broader Context


The Gospel Parallels (Mt 8:23-27; Lk 8:22-25)
Matthew as well as Luke do not come close in telling the calming of the storm in as vivid a way as Mark does. In Matthew, Jesus first asks the disciples about their faith before calming the storm. Mark and Luke tell the story in reverse: first Jesus calm the storm, then he approaches his disciples. However, neither Matthew nor Luke retain the harshness of the disciple's as well as Jesus' words: "Teacher, don't you care at all that we are about to perish (Mk 4:38)?" Matthew changes this statement to "Lord, save us, we are going to die (v. 25), and Luke writes "Master, Master, we are going to perish (v. 24)." In Mark, Jesus' reply is just as harsh as the disciples' demand: "Why are you such cowards! (Mk 4:40)?" While Matthew maintains this notion in Jesus' speech in the Markan words (ti deiloi este? v. 26), Luke alters this question simply to "Where is your faith [pou he pistis humon) (v. 25)?" Thus, the Markan account of the calming of the storm appears to be much more vivid and dramatic--as harsh words are exchanged by Jesus and his disciples--than the tamed and toned down versions of the same incident in Matthew and Luke.

Other NT context pericopes:

Lk 10:40:
"kurie, ou melei soi ..." Lord, is it of no concern to you ... Martha--complaining about having to do all the work while her sister Mary enjoys the Lord's company--approaches Jesus with the same words with which the disciples address him in the boat during the storm (Mk 4:38 - except: "didaskale, ...")

2 Tim 1:7
"For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice (pneuma deilias) but rather [a spirit] of power/authority and of love and of self-discipline."


OT pericopes from the Nestle text's outer margin:

Jonah 1:4-5a; 16
But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and such a mighty storm came upon the sea that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried to his god. ... Then the men feared the LORD even more, and the offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

Psalm 65:7
You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples.

Psalm 89:9
You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.

Psalm 107:23-32
Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their calamity; they reeled and staggered like drunkards, and were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the LORD in trouble, and he brought them out of their distress; he made the storm still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

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