Matthew 8:26b (NCV)*
The Bible Says... “Jesus answered, ‘Why are you afraid? You don’t have enough faith.’ Then Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm”.
Just A Dash
Last night, parts of North Texas were devastated by a storm. This morning, some places are without power, while others are no longer standing at all. At our home, we could feel the storm right over our heads as it shook our windows. News reports from the storm reminded me of a storm several years ago where a tornado tore through Rockwall, TX and destroyed a number of homes and businesses in the area. That storm, as well as last night’s storm, hit places that you wouldn’t have expected to have been hit, and passed over places directly in its path. Storms are characteristically unpredictable, but one thing is for certain: No matter how erratic, or unpredictable, or uncontrollable a storm may seem, God is master over all things, storms included.
A Pinch More
One of the Bible’s most popular storm stories is recorded in Matthew 8:23-27. In this passage, Jesus calms a storm simply by speaking to it! However, the order in which this miracle is performed is no coincidence. Before this storm, Jesus had already performed his few miracles: healing a man with leprosy, healing a paralyzed man, and then healing Peter’s mother-in-law who had a fever, along with others who were delivered from their demons. People saw this healing as a benefit of following Jesus and wanted it for themselves, so they wanted to follow Jesus as well. Following these miracles of healing, Jesus’ strategy for performing miracles immediately changed. In verses 20-22 (NCV) Jesus tells two guys who wanted to follow Him, “the Son of Man has no place to rest His head” (Matt 8:20 NCV) and “let the people who are dead bury their own dead (Matt 8:22 NCV)”. Jesus had to make the people understand that there was more to following Him than healing and being healed. There would also be some storms.
In Matthew 8:26, Jesus miraculously calms a storm by giving a command to the wind and waves. The King James Version and New International Version say that He “rebuked the winds and the sea (KJV)/waves (NIV)”. Jesus ended the devastation that people were experiencing in their physical bodies, then moved on to end the devastation caused by natural forces. He showed Himself as Lord over man and Lord over the Earth. The same God with the power to heal you physically is the SAME God with the power to heal you spiritually. The next time you’re in a storm, SPEAK UP! Ask God to calm the storm.
Q: Do you have the faith to weather the storm alongside Jesus?
Q: What’s the most devastating physical storm you’ve ever experienced? How does it compare to the most devastating spiritual storm you’ve faced?
*One of my Bible Study Fellowship classmates introduced me to the New Century Version of the Bible, so I’ve been referencing it quite a bit in my recent studying. It’s more closely related to the NIV, but the cadence is more consistent with modern speech patterns, making it a little easier to read. I recommend it for reading longer passages of text, such as when you’re reading multiple chapters or complete books of the Bible at once. Hint: This might be a great version for you if you’re on a “Read the Bible in a Year” reading plan.