21 December 2018

Matthew 8

And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Matthew 8:26

Following the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus continues with His ministry healing many people, including a man who had leprosy, a soldier’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law and two demon-possessed men. All these miracles were signs of God’s power, affirming His messianic identity and gave glory to God. Any ordinary man would not have been able to do such things. Yet, the ancient world was not without its healers (real or otherwise) and some would claim that Jesus was just another one.

Sandwiched in between these miracles though was an extraordinary event that could only be attributed to One with remarkable credentials. His disciples were so amazed that they asked the question “Who is this man?” Indeed, the corresponding telling of the story in Luke 8: 25 says they were also ‘terrified’.

Who on earth could ever tell the winds and waves to calm down in the midst of a fierce storm? Jesus apparently could and did just that. The authority that He exercised in teaching the crowds was demonstrated here in an entirely different capacity. Here was someone who had command over the very powerful forces of nature. No wonder the disciples were afraid and asked who He was. It is a question that we too need to ask.

But the disciples did believe that Jesus was the Messiah even if they didn’t fully understand at this time what that actually meant. They had faith in Him and they followed Him. They had faith in Him to save them from drowning because they called on Him in the midst of the storm. Yet Jesus challenges them on this very issue. ‘You have so little faith’ (verse 26). It was an indictment He used repeatedly. See Matthew 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20. Jesus’s expectation appears to be that His followers should have far more faith in Him. They were, therefore, not using what was theirs sufficiently. Faith apparently has to be exercised after we come to know Jesus as Saviour so that it grows. Grant that we too would not be labeled as followers of Jesus with ‘so little faith’.

Prayer: Help us, Lord Jesus, to have faith in You as our Saviour and to have faith in You day by day as we live our lives in the knowledge of who You are and what You have done for us.