“But the men marvelled, saying, what manner or man is this, that even the waves and the sea obey him” Matthew 8:27
Jesus had just finished delivering the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5 – 7), where He spoke at length to the people delivering proverbs for practical living. He taught the people how to pray, described the elements for a true fast, encouraged them to seek first the kingdom of God, etc. As He finishes delivering one of his most profound sermons, He is likely exhausted, but His work is not done. He is approached by a leper who seeks healing, and in His lovingkindness, He obliges him. As He approaches Capernaum, He is met by a centurion who seeks a miracle for his servant; and as a result of the centurion’s faith his servant is healed without even coming in contact with Jesus. Finally, Jesus enters into a boat with his disciples and the Bible recounts that a storm arises. The disciples begin to panic, and fearful for their lives they cry out to Jesus: “Master, save us for we perish”. Jesus rebukes them for their lack of faith and calms the storm, and the scripture states, “they marveled that even the winds and waves obeyed Him”.
Why were they surprised at Jesus’ ability to calm the storm? They had seen him perform miracles before. They were there when he healed the leper. They saw how with just a word, he healed the centurion’s servant. So why were they surprised? I have two theories : One: Because the storm was personal. They were the ones in the storm, and oftentimes while we see God do great and marvellous thing in the lives of those around us, we somehow feel that He won’t do the same for us. Two: Maybe, they felt that although Jesus had power to heal a leper and a centurion’s servant, He wasn’t big enough, powerful enough to calm a storm. They limited God’ ability based on what they were seeing and experiencing at that particular time.
They had witnessed the miracles he had done in the lives of others; yet they didn’t fully acknowledge or believe that He could deliver them. Other’s yes, but surely not me, they must have thought. Well, Jesus proved them wrong. He is concerned about ALL His children, and all aspects of our lives, from the seemingly mundane to the “life changing” decisions we face.
This time of year can be full of angst for pre-health students as they eagerly await acceptance letters, wonder if they’ll ever get off the waiting list, and start to question whether their life dream is in alignment with God’s purpose. Can God help me get in? Can God show me what direction to go next if the acceptance letter doesn’t come? Oh ye of little faith! Just like He did for the disciples; if you just believe, you will see that He not only can, but He will! Be encouraged, He will never leave you or forsake you!