Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
E. Christ as Israel's Messiah By His Authority Over Nature
(Matthew 8:23-27)
  1. Introduction
    1. In noting how Jesus is the Messiah, Matthew would need to demonstrate His power to bring all creation into peaceful harmony as will occur in the Messianic Kingdom, cf. Isaiah 65:25; Amos 9:13.
    2. This fact, in its context, is clearly seen in the Matthew 8:23-27 event as follows:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority Over Nature, Matthew 8:23-27.
    1. Matthew 8:23 reports that when Jesus on one occasion entered into a [fishing] boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (cf. Matthew 8:5, 18, 28), His disciples followed Him into the boat.
    2. It is important to note that some of these disciples were experienced fishermen who were very familiar with that sea as seen in Christ's calling them to cease fishing there and follow Him in Matthew 4:18-22.
    3. Also, this sea is still known for its sudden, violent storms: "(t)he position of the lake in the Jordan rift below sea level with the high mountains to the East and West creates a natural condition for storms. The cool air masses from the mountain heights rush down the steep slopes with great force, causing violent eruptions of the lake. Such tempests are not infrequent and are extremely dangerous to small craft," Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, volume Two, p. 646.
    4. Thus, after everyone had boarded and they had moved far enough out to sea so that Jesus could fall asleep (Matt, 8:24b), a sudden, severe storm arose so that the ship was covered with waves, Matthew 8:24a.
    5. The situation became so grave that, Peter, Andrew, James and John whom Jesus had called to be His disciples from fishing as experienced fishermen on that sea (Matthew 4:18-22) were among the disciples who wakened Jesus from sleep, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." (Matthew 8:25 ESV)
    6. Jesus replied, "Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?", Matthew 8:26a KJV. He had called these men with the promise that if they followed Him, He would make them to be fishers of men, Matthew 4:19. Since they were not yet fishers of men, they would need to live long enough to disciple men effectively, meaning that according to Jesus' promise in His original summons, they would not then drown in that sea!
    7. Regardless of their unbelief in His original word, in grace, Jesus stood and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm, Matthew 8:26b. This was a great miracle for three reasons:
      1. First, it was a great miracle in reference to the winds. The typically strong, sudden storm had been created by the forceful movement of cool mountain air moving down the hillsides to the Sea of Galilee with its typically tropical climate as it lay 685 feet below sea level, Ibid., p. 644. To check these vast, fast-moving currents of air with a mere verbal command would take supernatural power!
      2. Second, it was a great miracle in reference to the water. Normally, wave action that is so severe that waves lapping over the side of a boat while experienced fishermen in it think they are perishing (Matt. 8:24-25) does not suddenly stop so that there is a great calm; rather, they naturally keep lapping for some time due to the inertia of great amounts of very disturbed water, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 39.
      3. Third, it was a great miracle in reference to the sudden harmony and peace that Jesus instilled on the total environment, Ibid. The "One whose rebuke was sufficient to bring nature into perfect peace" thus indicated He was "the Messiah" Who will bring all nature into perfect harmony "when He institutes His kingdom," Ibid.
    8. The disciples marveled at the miracle and its implications, wondering what kind of man was Jesus that even the winds and the sea together would obey Him, Matthew 8:27. They were still in the thoes of coming to understand His superatural power and position as the true Messiah from God.
Lesson: By His supernatural power to bring wind and the sea into peaceful harmony via stilling the storm, Jesus showed Himself to God's Messiah of a coming peaceful natural order in the Kingdom.

Application: (1) May we trust in Jesus as the Creator sent from God the Father. (2) May we also rest in His sovereignty over all the trials we face in nature to live above the fear the disciples had in that storm. (3) May we anticipate the great blessings to occur in His Kingdom when the Adamic curse is removed.