Jesus power over the natural - Mathew 8 verses 23 to 27
Jesus power over the natural Mathew 8:23 to 27 Parallel passages: Mark 4:35 to 40 & Luke 8:22 to 25
I – INTRODUCTION to the topic andcontextual backgroundMathew presents Jesus Christ as Kingand Messiah. He establishes it since thestart of the first chapter. In chapters 8and 9 he provides the proof of Jesusbeing divine by the miracles that He did.The supreme proof of Jesus’ divinityand messiahship was His absoluteauthority and power over everything onearth. In Matthew 8:23-27 Jesusdemonstrates His unlimited power overthe natural world. His stilling the stormis the first miracle of the second groupof three miracles presented in chapters8 and 9.
I – The Particulars“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold,there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with thewaves: but he was asleep.” – Mathew 8:23-24After confronting the three simply curiousfollowers with the true cost of discipleshipJesus got into the boat to go to the other sideof the Sea of Galilee, The disciples whofollowed Him included the twelve, some ofwhom were in the same boat as Jesus, alongwith other followers who went in separateboats (Mark 4:36). Because Jesus healedmany people and talked with the threeprofessing disciples after “evening had come”it was probably well into the night when thesmall group departed. Mathetes (disciple)simply means a follower, learner, or pupil.
• The boat was probably a small, open fishing craftof the type commonly used by fishermen such asPeter, James, and John.• The Sea of Galilee (Lake of Galilee or Tiberias) isIsraels largest freshwater lake, approximately 53kilometers (33 miles) in circumference, about 21 km(13 miles) long, and 13 km (8 miles) wide. At 213meters below sea level, it is the lowest freshwaterlake on Earth and the second-lowest point in theworld after the Dead Sea.Because of its situation deep in the Jordan GreatRift Valley and surrounded by hills, it is prone tosudden violent storms; Warm air rushing over theGolan Heights to the east collide with cold air overthe lake - with sometimes disastrous consequences.
• Seismos (storm) literally means a shaking and isthe term from which we get seismic, seismograph,and related terms. The storm was so violent that itshook the water in the lake as if it were a glass ofwater in the hands of a great giant. The exclamationbehold intensifies the rapid and• Surprising manner in which there arose a greatstorm in the sea. The storm became so fierce thatthe boat was covered with the waves, and Markexplains that “the waves were breaking over the boatso much that the boat was already filling up” (Mark4:37). Yet Jesus Himself was asleep, no doubt beingexhausted from the long day’s work of healing andteaching. The Lord slept so soundly that not even thetossing of the boat, the noise of the wind, or theblowing water in His face awakened Him. He wassoaked to the skin while lying on hard planks withonly a cushion for His head (Mark 4:38). Yet this wasall part of the divine plan.
II – The Panic“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. Andhe saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”.– Mathew 8:25-26a Several of the twelve disciples were fishermen, and we can be certain they had done everything possible to save themselves. They were probably just as tired as Jesus was, but were far too afraid to sleep. They had nowhere else to turn but to Jesus and were exactly where God wanted them to be. Sometimes the Lord has to bring us to a point of absolute desperation before He can get our attention, and that is what He did with those disciples whose boat was about to be swamped or torn to pieces. They had run out of human solutions and had only Jesus to turn to.
II – The Panic“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. Andhe saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?”.– Mathew 8:25-26aJesus’ first response to the disciples’ plea was to rebuke them gently for their lack offaith. He said to them, “Why are you timid, you men of little faith?” Deilos (timid) hasthe basic meaning of being fearful or cowardly, and the disciples must have wonderedwhy Jesus wondered at them. How could He ask why they were afraid and timid, whenthey obviously had everything to be afraid of?Jesus’ calmness so perplexed the disciples that they accused Him of insensitivity:“Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). But Jesus turned therebuke back upon them. Why are you timid, He asked, and then gave the answer aspart of the question: you men of little faith? They were fearful because they werefaithless, timid because they had little faith. “Don’t you believe in Me and in My power?”You have seen My power and My compassion, and you should know that because ofMy power I can help you and that because of My compassion I will help you. Even ifyou should drown, don’t you know that would mean instant heaven? What, then, doyou have to be worried about?”
III – The Power“Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a greatcalm.’”- Mathew 8:26b Jesus arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea, saying, “Hush, be still” (Mark 4:39). At the word of the Creator the storm could do nothing but become perfectly calm. The winds stopped, the waves ceased, the air cleared, and the water became as glass. Luke records "the storm subsided, and all was calm." The Greek tense used here indicates that the storm and waves ceased rather quickly, there wasnt a gradual ceasing (as the imperfect might imply). A great calm settled over the surface of the sea. The Greek word is galene, " a calm on the lake."[ Storms normally subside gradually, with winds and waves diminishing little by little until calm is restored. But this storm subsided faster even than it had come; it came suddenly and ceased instantly.
IV – The Disciple’s response“But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds andthe sea obey him!” – Mathew 8:27Thaumaz (marveled) refers to extreme amazement. The .men could not imagine what kind of a man Jesus was,that even the winds and the sea obey Him. Mark reportsthat, along with their great amazement, the men werealso “very much afraid” (4:41). They were now moreafraid of the one who had stilled the storm than they hadbeen of the storm itself. Many of them had encountereddangerous storms, but none had encountered suchsupernatural power as Jesus here displayed.God’s majesty is so overwhelming that when He displaysHimself in even a small part of His glory men cannotstand in His presence. These disciples suddenly realizedthat God was standing in the very boat with them, andthey were terrified by His power and His holiness.