The Character of Jesus 27
Matthew 8:18 – 27, Mark 4:35 – 41, Luke 8:22 – 25
Jesus Stills the Storm
- Characteristic: Challenging incomplete thinking
- Following the Matthew account.
- (19) Scribes generally were Sadducees. Likely, he was wealthy due both to his vocation and his affiliation. His concept of the Messiah and the kingdom likely were physical. Note that he volunteered. Jesus did not summon him.
- (20) Jesus’ challenge pointed to the scribe’s comfortable life. His response is not given.
- (21) This could be one of the twelve, or another of the larger group of regular followers. Likely, his father was in poor health and might die soon, or perhaps within a year. If his father had just died, the burial would occur the same day, followed by a banquet. In this latter case, he could attend only if he were within a day’s walk. And, he would be back in a short time. So, the former idea is much more likely.
- (22) Jesus was telling him to let the rest of the family handle the arrangements. Certainly there would be some members who were not interested in Jesus. Jesus is not being flippant but realistic. Further, Jesus was not denigrating family responsibilities, but putting them in perspective. Certainly there were others in the family who did not have pressing spiritual responsibilities.
- (23 – 24) Sudden, violent storms are common on the Sea of Galilee because the lake is in a bowl of steep mountains. Jesus was taking a nap in the back of the boat.
- (25) The panic of the disciples, despite having several professional sailors in the group, was understandable. Turning to Jesus for help was a good idea. They just didn’t think it through.
- (26) Note that Jesus commented on their lack of faith first, then calmed the waves and the storm. If they believed in the promises about the Messiah, they would have concluded that this could not be fatal because the Messiah had more to do and was not predicted to die by drowning. Compare to the millions who crammed into the Temple in 70 AD because they believed it to be the safest place since they mistakenly assumed that the Messiah had not yet come.
- (27) The word, obey, carried the idea of voluntary submission. While they may have marveled if Jesus had overpowered nature, the fact that the wind and waves responded to His rebuke was even more impressive.
- Application: Challenging incomplete thinking
- Comfort is the American expectation. Lacking a command to divest, do we excuse our abundance? Do we fail to accept opportunities dropped in our laps? Do we make commitments before thinking it through?
- Do we fail to think through competing claims on our time? Do we think we must do it all? Can we delegate?
- Do we panic over things He has already promised to handle?
- Are we amazed when His promises work?