Saturday, May 25, 2024

2024.05.25 Hopewell @Home ▫ Matthew 8:23–34

Read Matthew 8:23–34

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Jesus do in Matthew 8:23? What do His disciples do? What arises in Matthew 8:24? With what effect? What is Jesus doing? What do the disciples do (Matthew 8:25)? What do they say? What does He ask them (Matthew 8:26)? What does He call them? What does He do to what? With what effect? What do the men do in Matthew 8:27? What do they ask? To where do they come in Matthew 8:28? Whose country is it? Whom does He meet there? Coming out of where? Of what character? With what effect? What do the demons use the two men to do (Matthew 8:29)? What do their demons ask? What information does Matthew 8:30 add? What do the demons beg for (Matthew 8:31)? What does Jesus say (Matthew 8:32)? Where do the demons go? With what effect? Who respond in Matthew 8:33? How? Where do they go? What do they do there? What information do they make sure to include? Who come out in Matthew 8:34? To do what? What do they beg Him to do?

Who is Jesus? Matthew 8:23–34 prepares us for the morning sermon on the Lord’s Day. In these twelve verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that Jesus is God, the Lord over all.

Lord over creationMatthew 8:23-27. Jesus has just pointed out the great faith of the centurion in Matthew 8:10, and now he turns to the disciples who actually made it onto the boat (Matthew 8:23, cf. Matthew 8:18-22) and tells them that they have “little faith” Matthew 8:26. They do not yet realize (or have not yet taken to heart) that He has the very authority of God in Him. He does not pray for the storm to be stilled. He rebukes the creation itself! This is a hallmark of YHWH Himself in Psalm 65:7, Psalm 89:8–9, Psalm 107:28–29. We must ask and answer the question in Matthew 8:27: “What sort of man is this?” He is the God-Man. And if He is with us, we must never be afraid. If you are a Christian, He is with you. You must not fear!

Lord over the nations and the spiritual powersMatthew 8:28-34. When they reach the Gentile side of the lake, Jesus’s arm is not shortened nor His hand weakened. These demons have great power over these men (Matthew 8:28), but they are completely at Jesus’s mercy (Matthew 8:31), both now and especially in eternity (Matthew 8:29). They are also enslaved to their own wickedness, immediately destroying the creatures that they enter (Matthew 8:32). We mustn’t read too much of ourselves into Matthew 8:33. Yes, there is a financial loss, but what they especially mention was Jesus’s power over the demons that had been an insurmountable power (end of Matthew 8:28). It is He Whom they fear, and Whom they therefore beg to depart (Matthew 8:34). Many do not close with Christ, because they fear the great power with which He will overthrow their whole lives. We must not respond this way. Let us be willing for Him to do whatever almighty work He wills!

Of what are you tempted to be afraid? What are you reluctant for Christ to change in your life?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You, Who are God almighty, but have come near us and with us to save us. Forgive us our fears and our reluctance to live in proximity to Your power, we ask in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP65A “Praise Awaits You, God, in Zion” or TPH533 “Have Thine Own Way, Lord!”

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