Matthew 8:23-27

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?”

Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?” Matthew 8:23-27

Different people hear a story like this in different ways.

Some people just accept the story at face value. They see the story in their minds’ eye as they read. They see the waves crashing into the boat. They imagine Jesus as they have always imagined Jesus, their imagination defined by a stained glass window or an illustration in a childhood Sunday School lesson. The scene happens exactly as Matthew describes it. Jesus is roused from sleep, a bit irritated at the disciples. He yells at the wind and it stops in its tracks. Jesus, the miracle worker, can stop a storm with a single shout. Jesus is mostly divine.

Other people just don’t buy it. They want to emphasize his humanity. Human beings live at the mercy of nature. We do what we can but, at the end of the day, we just have to ride the storms of life out. They see this story as a metaphor for life and for faith. The faith they see in Jesus has more sustaining power than the fickle faith of the disciples. Jesus is a man like us. The story still has power…but it loses its magic.

And then, I suppose, there are lots of other people who either reject the story out of hand or think it suitable for children and that’s about it.

Regardless of how you see the story, storms will come in your life. From rain showers to hurricanes, no one escapes getting wet from time to time. At some point you are going to realize that your boat is very small, and the sea is very big, and the wind is much more powerful than you.

When that time comes, I want you to know that Jesus is right there in the boat with you. No matter how you see this story now, I trust it will take on a whole new meaning for you then.

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, we cry to you when we’re sinking. Our faith is fickle and our boats are small. When we feel overwhelmed, give us the assurance that you are stronger than the wind and the waves. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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2 Responses to “Matthew 8:23-27”

  1. Mike George Says:

    Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the time you put into writing these! I have really enjoyed the lessons on Matthew. My wife attended your church in 2011 while I was in Houston for a few months receiving a stem cell transplant. She gently guides people you both your devotions and you your church when we find they are heading to Houston. God Bless You.

  2. Matthew 8:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Calms a Stormy Sea | Belgian Biblestudents - Belgische Bijbelstudenten Says:

    […] Matthew 8:23-27 […]

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