Sunday, April 28, 2019

Matthew 8:23-27 There is nothing more powerful than the creator

Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV)
[23] And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. [24] And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. [25] And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” [26] And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. [27] And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Jesus is in a boat with his disciples when a “great storm” (Mt 8:24) comes up, threatening to capsize the boat. These are fishermen in this boat. They know boats. They know this sea. They know weather. Knowing that, they are scared witless. They are panicking when they wake Jesus, but they know his power. He is their only, desperate hope. Jesus reply is fascinating. “Why are you afraid?” (Mt 8:26).

One could write off his question to the reality that Jesus is not a fisherman. He doesn’t know the danger. I recall once riding my motorcycle in a huge rainstorm on a very dark night trying to keep up to a tow truck that was towing our bigger vehicle. It was a white knuckle ride for me. My wife was riding behind me on the same bike. She was just enjoying the rain patter on her helmet. She had no idea the danger we were in. We could suggest that Jesus was not afraid because he didn’t know the danger. Ignorance is bliss. But, this is the creator of all in this boat. He knows the storm. He knows his disciples. He is not ignorant of the danger. It is not ignorance that gives him peace. It is power.

There is nothing more powerful than nature. Cities have been flattened by hurricanes. Great forests have been burned by lightning. When lightning is flashing all around you, and tornadoes are going by on every side, it is frightening. Nature is powerful. There is nothing more powerful than nature, except the creator of nature. And there he was sitting in that boat. All he needed to do was to speak a simple rebuke to the winds and the sea “and there was a great calm” (Mt 8:26). There was a great calm where there had been a great storm.

Jesus did not just ask his disciples, “Why are you afraid?” He followed that with the description, “O you of little faith” (Mt 8:26). How often we forget the power of the God we serve. We know it, but we don’t trust it. The disciples had just watched Jesus heal multiple people, one from a distance, and cast out demons, yet when it came to nature they were afraid. We forget the power of the God we serve. There is nothing more powerful than the creator. Serving him, there is nothing to fear.

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