Sleeping On A Pillow

J. D. Conley
February 23, 2014

Mark wrote: "And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm" (Mk.4:38-39). This account in the Lord's incarnate life is intriguing on several levels, viz.:

His Drowsiness- The state of sleep attests to His humanity. Jesus being "flesh," (Jn.1:14), required sleep as do all men to function physically and mentally. After a long day of teaching our Lord was tired. Even though He no doubt resisted sleep many times, (Jn.9:4) His body eventually surrendered to slumber. Mark in writing to the Romans who relished details, provides them with this inspired tidbit "he was...asleep on a pillow." Don't equate this pillow with the nice fluffy cushions we all have on our expensive mattresses. This pillow was His mattress. It was probably no more than a thin mat made of reeds or an elevated hammock. Yes, our Lord was asleep, but not on a bed of ease as the ship rose and fell on the billows.

His Dignity- Who else, but the Son of God, could display dignity while in the throes of slumber?! But amidships the disciples are seized with panic, terrified of capsizing and drowning. But there in the stem lies Jesus, who made the sea (Gen. 1:9-10; Jn.1:3; Col. 1:16) calmly resting on a pillow. Neither does His calmness leave Him when He is abruptly awakened by His frantic friends who essentially accuse Him of not caring if they drown. He simply got up, scolded the wind and told the sea to be calm, and they did! Its not surprising that the calm Christ brought about the "great calm," of v.39. There is no need for His children to live in abject fear when the storms of life hit them, (Ps.23:4; Jn.14:27; 2Cor.1:3-4; Eph.6:10; Heb.13:5-6).

His Deity- Our Lord who could sleep can also save. Only God's Son could calm a roiling sea, and only God's Son can save repentant sinner, (Jn.1:29; Jn.14:6; Acts 2:38, 4:12; Heb.7:25; Rev. 1:5, et al.).

As Christians, may we work tirelessly for our Savior, resting when forced, and working when able, thereby following our Savior's example, (Jn.9:4; 1 Pet. 1:21).