5 October 2013

Matthew 8:23 - 9:1

"And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A gale arose on the lake, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but [Jesus] was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, 'Lord, save us! We are perishing!' And he said to them, 'Why are you so 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 kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'" (vv. 23-27)


A couple of thousand years ago there lived a man named Jesus and the most important thing I can tell you about Jesus is that he is the Son of God. It had been a long couple of days for Jesus and his disciples before the events of the above miracle happened. Back around Matthew 5-7 Jesus delivered an amazing sermon which some refer to as the Sermon on the Mount. When Jesus finished the message he came down from the mountainside and the crowds followed him.

Then, at the beginning of Matthew 8, Jesus healed a man who had leprosy. Just afterwards a Roman leader, a Centurion, came to him. The Centurion had a servant who was paralysed and in great agony and so the Centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. But get this ... the Centurion didn't feel worthy for Jesus to come into his home (as the Romans were despised by the Jewish people) but knew that if Jesus would simply agree to heal his servant then all would be well. Jesus marvelled at the Centurion's faith and healed his servant (Matthew 8:5-13).

Then Jesus went to the disciple Pete's house and healed Pete's mother-in-law and, later that evening, even more sick people, driving out the demons from those possessed (Matthew 8:14-17).

It was a couple of packed days of miracle after miracle after miracle.

Which brings us to our text. Read it again. Slowly.

To Ponder

  • After having witnessed all that they had seen in the previous day and a half why do you suppose the disciples panicked?
  • Look back at some of the amazing, even miraculous things God has done in your life. Why then do you think you become afraid when a storm kicks up?
  • What does Jesus' calming of the storm tell us about who he is?
  • What stops you from believing in the power of Jesus' saving grace for you?

Bible notes author

The Revd Ron Willoughby

The Revd Ron Willoughby is a former church planter and pastor from the United States. He currently serves as the Contemporary Christian Studies Tutor at Cliff College.