TEXT: Matthew 8:23-27
23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
Caught in the midst of a great tempest, fear takes hold of the disciples’ minds. In the midst of the sudden storm, they forget all they had seen Jesus do. He had touched and healed lepers; He had healed a man’s servant without ever laying eyes on the servant; He had cast out demons with a word. On top of that, Jesus was so secure in Himself that He basically turned away people who claimed they wanted to be His disciples. Intellectually, the disciples knew that Jesus was more than capable of handling a storm with them in the boat. But, that intellectual knowledge had not made its way into a practical knowledge. Instead of acting in faith, they acted out of fear, roused Jesus from His sleep, and declare, “Lord, save us; we perish!”
Jesus gently chides them for their lack of faith, saying, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” Matthew Henry points out that Jesus “does not chide them for disturbing him with their prayers, but for disturbing themselves and Him with their fears and lack of faith.”
Then, Matthew the gospel-writer informs us, “He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” Jesus got up from His posture of sleep in order to command that the winds and waves be silent. The Greek word translated as “rebuked” means to chide, to reprove, to sharply admonish or charge. Just as with the Centurion’s servant and those who were demon-possessed, Jesus spoke a word and effected change. The disciples, of course, would have been familiar with the account of Creation, in which God spoke and the earth, sea, and sky came into being. Seeing Jesus could speak in similar manner to creation must have erased any lingering doubt in the disciples’ minds about who Jesus was.
Note the change Jesus brought about with His words: there was immediately “great calm” in contrast to the “great tempest” which raged just a second earlier. The Greek word translated as “calm” simply means stillness, as in the stillness of the sea. Isn’t that what each of us have craved at some point or another? Stillness. Silence. Calm. Peace. Rest. Jesus already had all of that in abundance. He had it inside of Him and, thus, was not disturbed by the storm. The disciples, however, had not yet learned that their peace did not have to be disrupted by external circumstances. So, Jesus brought them physical calm in order to show them the source of all their comfort, peace, and calm in life.
With Jesus living inside of us, we can have great calm no matter what happens. If we have faith in Him, we can likewise sleep in the midst of the great storms of our lives. Our calm comes from Christ Himself, from the knowledge that He is in control of every circumstance. With just a word, Jesus can sweep away all of our struggles and difficulties. However, in His sovereign wisdom, He often invites us into the storm with Him in order that He might test us and teach us as He did with the disciples in this story. The key for us is to remember that we are WITH HIM. Without Christ, we have every reason to be fretful and afraid of what might happen. However, with Jesus, we will never perish and we can have perfect peace in the midst of life’s sudden storms.
Frank North wrote
Jesus, the calm that fills my breast,
No other heart than Thine can give;
This peace unstirred, this joy of rest,
None but Thy loved ones can receive.
My weary soul has found a charm
That turns to blessedness my woe;
Within the shelter of Thine arm,
I rest secure from storm and foe.
In desert wastes I feel no dread,
Fearless I walk the trackless sea;
I care not where my way is led,
Since all my life is life with Thee.
O Christ, through changeful years my guide
My comforter in sorrow’s night,
My friend, when friendless—still abide,
My Lord, my counselor, my light.
My time, my powers, I give to Thee;
My inmost soul ’tis Thine to move;
I wait for Thy eternity,
I wait, in peace, in praise, in love.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.