#23: “WHAT MANNER OF MAN IS THIS?”
(Matthew 8:18, 23-27, Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25)
Summer, A. D. 28, on the Sea of Galilee
On the evening of the same day that Jesus taught the parable of the Sower and other parables, he commands his disciples to prepare to sail to the east side of Lake Galilee (Mark 4:35). “Let us go across to the other side”, he commands. He enters the same boat he had taught from and his disciples follow him. Other followers board other boats so they can watch and see what Jesus will do.
As they begin the seven-mile crossing of the sea, Jesus goes to sleep on a rower’s cushion in the stern of the boat. After this long day beginning with prayer, then the healing of the blind and dumb man and the confrontation with the Pharisees and then continuing with the teaching of many parables, his body is tired.
While Jesus sleeps and some others doze, from the heights surrounding the lake, a furious dark storm approaches the sea. Soon it swoops down and strikes the boat carrying Jesus and his disciples. This massive windstorm feels like a hurricane as its ferocious winds howl and blow upon the sea. Large waves begin to bash the boat repeatedly. Lightning flashes and thunder explodes above their heads, shaking the sea and sky.
The relentless wind roars so loudly the disciples must shout at the top of their lungs to hear one another. The small sails rattle and the waves grow larger and larger, rushing towards them, coming higher and higher and faster and faster. Water crests over the sides of the boat and fills it. The disciples in their soaked clothes frantically scoop bucket after bucket of water from the boat, which seems ready to capsize at any moment. Death seems imminent.
The disciples panic and scream to Jesus, “Master! Save us! Don’t you care that we die?” Jesus awakens and looks into their eyes. He is the only one who is not terrified. He replies, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26b, NIV)
Jesus discerns a spirit being, a murderer from the beginning, who is trying to destroy them. Jesus stands up and rebukes the spirit causing the wind and he speaks to the sea, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39). Immediately a heavy release of God’s power passes over the sea and the wind stops. A deep calm descends upon the waters. The King of the kingdom of heaven rules over the storm! The disciples are so astonished at this miracle! “Who is this man that even the wind and the sea obey his orders?” they ask. For his words are spirit and life and have dominion over the natural world.
Messianic Prophecy Fulfilled: (Given 1050 B. C.)
“Some went off in ships . . .
they, too, observed the LORD's power in action,
his impressive works on the deepest seas . . .
Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and sank again to the depths; the sailors cringed in terror.
They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at
their wits' end. `LORD, help!' they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves”
(Psalm 107:23a, 24, 26-29, NLT).
Comments: Isaiah prophesied: “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest . . .” (Isaiah 32:1-2a, NKJV)
Jesus our Righteous King is our hiding place from great winds and storms. The disciples experienced this truth. And king David said of the Lord, “For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy” (Psalm 61:3, NKJV).
In October, 2005 I went with two friends on a mission trip to Honduras. We were to fly into San Pedro Sula on October 30th. Two or three days before we left we saw the weather reports that hurricane Beta was headed directly for San Pedro Sula and was due to land there at the very time our plane would land in the airport! Someone suggested that we reschedule and postpone our trip. I asked the Lord if we should do that, and He told me to go ahead and go on the trip as planned.
So my two friends and I and our wives all prayed for safety for us on this trip. I remember speaking the promises of God over us and I commanded that hurricane to turn away from Honduras and not come near the place where we were going to land. Our trip went fine, and the next morning I bought an Honduran newspaper, which I have kept to this day. The headline on it is in very large and bold print. It says, (I am translating) “We are saved!” Right above this declaration, in smaller letters are the words, “Miraculously, the trajectory of hurricane Beta changed early this morning from yesterday’s course and did not come into our country.” On page 7 of the paper there are illustrations showing how the hurricane, which was coming from the east, suddenly turned south and away from Honduras.
I am so thankful how that hurricane turned away and did not come near us. I have heard other Christians tell similar testimonies regarding approaching hurricanes and approaching tornadoes.
Whether the storm is spiritual or literal, Jesus is our hiding place from the wind and our shelter from the storm (Isaiah 32:1-2). When such things come, we should raise up our shield of faith in God’s Word and take refuge in Him (Ephesians 6:16, Psalm 46:1, 91:2, 4, 9-10).
Note: much of this devotional is from The Life of Jesus Foretold, pages 110-112.