23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Matthew 23-27

In context of Matthew chapter 8

Jesus Cleanses a Leper; The Centurion’s Faith

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him,and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11 I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.

Peter’s Mother-in-law and Many Others Healed

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she got up and waited on Him. 16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.”

Discipleship Tested

18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Jesus Casts Out Demons

28 When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. 29 And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before [z]the time?” 30 Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. 33 The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. 34 And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they implored Him to leave their region.

Introduction

In this series we’ve examined the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and now we’re examining the teachings and actions of Jesus throughout the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

Since we examined the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 at the beginning of this series, we’re now going through Matthew 8.

23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Matthew 23-27

23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.

Galilee like any lake or sea, can be as still as a mill-pond or a raging mass of angry convulsing water.

I went to the Sea of Galilee in 1989. It’s not a sea in classical terms but a lake, being land-bound on every side.

To the north, the River Jordan flows down from Lebanon beside Mt Hermon. To the south the Jordan flows to the Dead Sea- a lake made up of a very high percentage of minerals which makes people more bouyant than normal and is loved for it’s therapeutic qualities.

In 1989, I visited the Dead Sea and went for a dip.

To the south end of the Dead Sea is a salt formation that looks like a person. It’s called ‘Lot’s wife’. Sodom and Gomorrah were cities in this area.

So much beauty and so much history.

To the west of the Dead Sea are the caves where David hid from Saul’s men, who were pursuing him. And south of these caves is Masada, the towering mountain where King Herod and other Roman rulers spent the summer. There was a palace atop this great rock. It was cooler in the heat of summer in July and August when the Mediterranean can get very hot.

Masada was where 960 Jewish rebels took refuge in 72-73 AD from 8,000 to 9,000 Roman soldiers who were mopping up the last rebel towns and settlements in the Jewish Wars.

The Jewish Wars were a major uprising of the Jewish people against Roman occupation. They are chronicled in detail in ‘The Jewish Wars’, an extensive historical eye-witness account by Josephus, a Jewish historian, who travelled with the Romans, and chronicled the events. These events were extremely barbaric and include the destruction and sacking of Jerusalem and the dismantling and desecration of the Second Temple, the foundations of which are the Wailing Wall. A massive stone wall which is only a small part of the foundations of the Temple complex.

At Masada, the Romans built a seige wall and the rebels mass suicided when the Romans were about to come over the final defences, rather than be humiliated, tortured and raped by the Romans.

There is a great TV mini-series by ABC (America) ‘Masada’ 1981 which chronicles these events, starring Peter O’Toole, one of my favourite actors. Peter O’Toole stars in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ 1962 along with a stella cast including Alec Guiness, Anthony Quinn and Omar Sharif.

I’ve gone way off topic once again.

Back to Jesus and the boat in a bad storm on Galilee.

I recall walking along the shores of Galilee at Tiberias, an ancient Roman city, named after Emperor Tiberias.

Early on this autumn day in 1989, Galilee was tranquil like a steel-blue millpond due to the heavy ashen cloud layers above. I thought of how Galilee could be tranquil, perhaps like the morning when Jesus walked its shore and called his first four disciples-  Andrew and John, Peter and James.

Or Galilee could be stormy and wild, with winds blowing off the mountains not too far away.

25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Please reach out to Jesus if you are going through a storm today.