Amongst the virtues of the character of the Lord Jesus Christ, little has been spoken or written about His calmness. Sadly, calmness is not a virtue which humanity excels at. In fact, we are so often found living in a turmoil of stress, worry, and many problems.
Christ, however, is so very different, whatever the circumstances. His life is a testimony to calmness, whatever the situation.
I want us to consider a few examples from Mark’s Gospel. In chapter 4 verse 35, the Lord Jesus sends away the multitude and boards a boat knowing that the journey across the water will be through a tremendous storm. He has said to His disciples, ‘Let us pass over unto the other side’. The word ‘pass’ means ‘to go throughout’ or ‘to traverse’. Within this statement there are four promises from the Lord Jesus. First, a promise of a safe passage, for He has bid them to go on the boat. Second, a promise that they will go with Him. Third, that He will be with them to the end of the journey. Finally, the promise that any hindrance will be overcome. These are so sure because He, the Creator, who has all things in His power is with them until they arrive at the other side.
He was asleep in the boat and a storm blew up, but, although some of the disciples were seasoned fishermen, fear gripped them. They had never experienced such a storm as this before. With urgency they woke the Lord Jesus with the exclamation, ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ v. 38. His response was to rise and stand in the storm-tossed boat, to rebuke the wind and say to the sea, ‘Peace, be still’. He spoke in a calm, unhurried voice, yet with power. The result was an immediate great calm, characteristic of the One who had ordered the wild elements to cease their raging. He displayed calmness in the boat and demonstrated the power of His calmness as He subdued the restless wind and sea.
No sooner had they landed on the other side than a wretched demonpossessed man met them from out of the graveyard. Living amongst the tombs, he was uncontrollable by any man. He was a man to fear and avoid. Scarred by frequent self-harming and rough living, he was an awful sight, controlled by demonic spirits. He cried, ‘What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not’, 5. 7. The demons instantly recognize who the Lord Jesus is. In calmness the Lord Jesus acted with immediate power, for there was nobody more knowledgeable than He of the devastation of satanic activity. No other could have displayed such calmness in the face of such an appalling situation. What a testimony to divine power and compassion for the local population, but they wanted the Lord Jesus to leave the area. Did not the deliverance of this man from the bondage of Satan and the misery of a wretched life mean anything to them? What was the reaction of the Lord Jesus to such rejection? He calmly returned to the boat and over the sea to the place from whence He had come.
On the other side of the lake there was a waiting throng and a man called Jairus, very troubled about his sick daughter. He was a desperate man and implored the Lord Jesus to come to his house and lay hands on his daughter that she may live. The crowd of people followed the Lord Jesus as He made His way to the house. Among them was a sick woman, at her wit’s end and penniless. She had heard of the Lord Jesus and had made up her mind that if she but touched His garment she would be healed.
In His sensitivity to a special touch of His garment, despite the volume of people, He displays His personal calmness telling her that her faith has made her whole. What compassion amongst the needy!
Poor Jairus certainly did not feel calm. The condition of his daughter sorely troubled him and the arrival of news of her death must have come as a tremendous blow. It is then we see yet another example of the Lord Jesus bringing calmness to a soul, ‘Be not afraid, only believe’, v. 36. Taking only three of His disciples, He went to the house of the ruler of the synagogue. It was a scene of utter despair and grief, yet into such a situation the calmness of the Saviour is again brought. He took her parents into the room where the girl’s body was lying and raised her to life again. He was focused upon her welfare, requesting something for her to eat.
In these few simple examples, we see the calmness of the Lord Jesus: He entered the boat knowing a great storm was coming; He slept despite the imminent danger; He stilled the storm; He faced an uncontrollable demon-possessed man and released him from such a wretched bondage; He went back in the boat after the people had rejected Him; He responded to Jairus by setting off for his house; He displayed His unique sensitivity and graciousness to a desperate penniless woman; He raised a girl to life. He demonstrated His power over creation, satanic forces, anxiety, disease, and death. What an example to believers in their daily walk in a troubled world and, above all, what a wonderful Lord and Saviour we have!