Mission Directs How We Exercise Faith (1)

~ In chapter 8 of Matthew, some remarkable things from the life of Jesus are detailed. For example, we see:

(1) in vv. 1-8, that Jesus heals a leper,
(2) in vv. 5-13, that Jesus heals a centurion’s servant on account of the great faith of the centurion,
(3) in vv. 14-15, Jesus heals Peter’s mother and
(4) in vv. 16-17, that Jesus heals and exorcises many many people.

~ The above four should give us an idea of what Jesus’s mission was. It was at the least a mission that involved healing people and setting people free from bondage to demons. Now of course we know that His mission involved much more than that because if we roll back a slight bit to chapter 7 of Matthew, we see Jesus teaching the masses various things.  And if we roll forward all the way to the last chapter of Matthew – chapter 28, we come to the Resurrection, which is about Jesus’ victory over sin and death, i.e. the main purpose of His mission.

Keeping all this in mind, let us come back to Matthew 8 and look at the story where Jesus calms the storm. Let us imagine that the story ends in a different sort of a way and — AND that as a result, chapter 8 is the last chapter of Matthew.

So again, IMAGINE that Matthew consists only of 8 chapters, not 28.

Why?

Well read the story of the calming of the storm, in the manner in which I write it now and you will see why. A certain absurdity ought to arise in your mind.

Point: ~~~> Hopefully you will be able to understand better Jesus’ rebuke to the disciples where He says “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” 


386px-Rembrandt_Christ_in_the_Storm_on_the_Lake_of_Galilee
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633) by Rembrandt van Rijn

 23 And 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 swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” ~Matthew 8:23-25

~ Jesus was shocked! Immediately getting up, He grabbed a bucket and worked furiously to fill it with water and cast it out. The disciples also continued to strain hard at the oars as they attempted to control the boat. The waves however continued to pound them one after another and fearsome lightning lit up the sky and loud thunder shook up everyone and everything and filled their hearts with fear. The best of their efforts seemed hopeless and futile. Finally a wave thrice the size of the boat rose up and fell down on them with a loud crash! The boat was torn to pieces. Jesus and the disciples struggled to swim and stay afloat doing their best to grab on to any of the pieces of the wood from the boat. It was however no use. The storm was too strong. One by one they all drowned.

~ So ends the Gospel of Matthew here at chapter 8.

Now – doesn’t it seem just a bit absurd to think that Jesus, after doing all those things detailed up above, that His life and mission would suddenly fold like that?

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