I’m thinking about Mark 4:40, the storm and the miracle, and Jesus’s question, “Have you still no faith?”
The disciples ask if Jesus cares for them, and later marvel at his authority. So it seems they were lacking in faith both in Jesus’s power and compassion. I wonder if Jesus’s question is meant to apply more to one or the other. Certainly we can be encouraged by this passage to trust in both Jesus’s power and his care for us: we should run to him, confidently, in every circumstance.
I also wonder if there is a specific theological reason this story is at this point in the text. James Jordan points out that in Biblical symbolism, the sea regularly represents the Gentiles. Plugging that into the progression of Mark 4:
- The word is going out, and people (and peoples?) will respond to it in different ways (vv. 1-20)
- The word is going to be displayed, and the disciples must take part in that (vv. 21-25)
- It is going to be scattered (to the Gentiles) and will produce fruit (vv. 26-29)
- It will produce great fruit (among the Gentiles) (vv. 30-34)
- Have you still no faith, reader, disciple? Even the Spirit and the raging Gentiles obey him (vv. 35-41).
Then in Mark 5, Jesus heals a demoniac and sends him to minister to Gentiles. To a Jewish woman experiencing ceremonial death, he gives healing. To a Gentile daughter experiencing physical death, he gives life. Seeds are being planted and are sprouting.