Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
7) Matthew 8 - Jesus stills a tempest (continued)
Matthew 8:23 and following, Parallels: Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25
Luke 8:24 - "Master, Master, we are perishing!" Their repeated cries show their desperation.
Matthew 8:26 - And He said unto them, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" Both Mark and Luke record a
rebuke after the calming of the storm, while Matthew places this reproof before that fact. It is more than likely that
Jesus said it both times: before, to draw their attention to what He was immediately about to do; and then after, to
show them the moral implications of their fear. Before moving a muscle to deal with the storm, Jesus dealt first with
the panic of His men.
It might just even be that the disciples HAD prayed to God, but their continued terror betrayed a lack of confidence
in the results of their prayers. Worse yet, they feared that their prayers were useless.
Let us look at the disciples' growth of faith from the question posed in the Capernaum synagogue: "What is this?"
(Mark 1:27, Luke 4:36), to the question: "What sort of man is this? Who then is this?" to their later affirmation:
"Truly you are the Son of God" (Matthew 14:33). We can easily forget that these same men had been exactly what
the word "disciple" implies: "learners who can make mistakes."
When Jesus is in the boat, it is SINFUL UNBELIEF to say: "We are perishing." All who sail with Jesus are SAFE,
however great the storm.
Let us abandon our total dependence upon human help, and failing resources, casting ourselves completely,
confidently upon Jesus. No matter how great our trials, things are still in His control.
We should not leave Jesus to last place in our life as a mere escape hatch for emergency use only. He wants to be
our Companion and all-powerful Friend throughout life.
With our shattered nerves, our broken hearts, our wasted energies, why do we ourselves fail? Like the men in the
boat our straining muscles, our haunted lives need this word of Jesus: "Peace! Be still!"
The other boats, where are they? Are you not curious about their occupants and owners too? If, (Matthew 8:23),
they survived the storm to witness the miracle, how did they react? Did the men in these boats turn back after the
storm feeling they had had enough for one day and seen enough for a lifetime? Or had they already turned back
seeing the storm ahead? Many do not want to get involved, so at any hint of problems they run.
The disciples were loyal men who had to learn to conquer their fears; this included even Judas.