Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Matthew 8:26-27 Two Rebukes

No one likes to be corrected. It’s not fun and has a particular kind of “sting” that comes with it. It’s especially painful when it comes from someone whom you love and/or respect. Imagine then how the disciples must have felt when the Lord responded to their pleas “Save us”. As we read this passage of scripture, we see the Lord not only rebukes His disciples but also nature itself, providing further proof of His divinity.

First of all, notice the manner in which the Lord rebuked the disciples. For all intents and purposes, He called them “girly men”. When He asked them “Why are you afraid?” He wasn’t just talking about any kind of fear. The word translated “afraid” is the Greek word “deilos” (1169) which always means afraid in a negative sense as in “cowardly”. Talk about being called out. That must have been a stinging rebuke, and quite ironic considering that these men had followed Christ when others who professed similar devotion waffled when it came time to get on the boat.

Furthermore, observe with me Christ’s evaluation of their faith. He calls it “little faith”. I believe this is in direct contrast to the “great faith” of the centurion a few verses earlier. I mean, these men had heard Christ teach, seen Him perform miracles, and committed themselves to following Him and they’re going to worry about a rainstorm? Seriously? I’m reminded of the Israelites standing at the bank of the Red Sea and worrying about Pharaoh’s army behind them. You just want to yell at the page when you read that “Um, guys, did you miss the miracles that God just did to deliver you out of Egypt?” What we see here, in the disciples is a seriously lack of perspective. Our response, then, should be to remember as we enter life’s storms that we serve the same God and that just as He is faithful to these men of little faith, He’ll be faithful to us.

Finally, let’s examine Jesus’ next rebuke. He gets up and rebukes the wind and the sea. Now, for Him to have that kind of power is awesome and we should rightly reverence Him because of that. But the next phrase to me is even more striking—“it became perfectly calm”. All of a sudden, in an instant, in the midst of this terrible tempest, it all stopped. Now, the winds coming to a complete standstill is one thing. That’s pretty amazing. But the wind and the sea became still—perfectly calm—all of a sudden. I mean, physics tells us that once set in motion the waves of the sea should have remained in motion for a while even after the wind stopped. That is not what happened. All of nature, all natural laws, bend and conform to the will of the Master. He didn’t just stop the storm; He removed all evidence that there had been a storm. What an awesome display of power.

Now, as we leave these verses, let’s reflect on the reaction of the disciples here. The text says “They were amazed”. This was a truly marvelous sight to them. I can picture some of them sitting there with their mouths hanging wide open. For that matter, when I read the miracles recorded in scripture I feel like that sometimes. However, the marvel they felt as they saw what the Lord did caused them to reflect “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the seas obey Him?” That is the million dollar question. That, in fact, is the only question that matters. Who is Jesus? How do we reconcile the fact that He was so tired that He was in such a deep sleep that even a storm on the open water didn’t wake Him, demonstrating that He was fully human, with the fact that He calms a storm with only His word which demonstrates that He is none other than God in the flesh? We can’t. However, what we can do is proclaim that Jesus is the God-man and the only possible way to get to heaven is to come by faith to Him and repent of you sins. I may not be able to explain the hypostatic union but I can choose to place my faith and trust in Him and call Him my Lord and Savior.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who is Jesus?

Enjoy the video, Joe.