to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 16, 2019 – Wednesday
Luke 8:24-25 NIV
24 The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
25 “Where is your faith?” He asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”
It is in Luke, the third synoptic gospel, we find what we found separately in Matthew and Mark that the disciples reacted both in fear and amazement. Recall in Matthew 8:27 after Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him! Then in Mark 4:41 after Jesus had calmed the wind and the sea we read of the disciples They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!” The words used for fear and amazement are the same ones we found in Matthew and Mark, it is simply that both are noted in Luke.
In Matthew 8:26 before arising and calming the wind and the sea Jesus said You of little faith, why are you so afraid? Then in Mark after calming the wind and the sea Jesus turned to the disciples and said in 4:40 Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? Then once more in Luke 8:25 after calming the storm Jesus asked His disciples Where is your faith?
Note in Matthew and Mark He asked them why they were afraid using the same word in both for afraid, the Greek deilos defined by Strong’s as timid and by implication faithless:–fearful. However of even greater interest is His question about their faith in all three versions. The same word for faith is used in all three, the Greek pistis with a prefix attached in Matthew indicating little. Because fear is not mentioned in the third version by Jesus, but faith is, we must consider what Jesus is telling us about faith.
He was rebuking them primarily for the lack of faith, lack of understanding who He was at that moment. Guzik states
In the span of a few moments, the disciples saw both the complete humanity of Jesus (in His tired sleep) and the fullness of His deity. They saw Jesus for who He is: truly man and truly God.
Pett goes further in his commentary on why Jesus was questioning their faith
Now under all normal circumstances that would be an unreasonable question. No man has a right to expect that God will protect him in all circumstances. It only becomes reasonable if we see that He is indicating that they should have known that as the Messiah He could not die until He had completed His work, and that as His chosen Apostles they too were safe, because God had chosen them and yet had a work for them all to do. He was awaking them to the fact that as yet they did not really appreciate the privilege that was theirs to such an extent that they were immortal until God withdrew His hand. Jesus had that confidence. They would need to have it too.
One further note here: Jesus revealed Himself and His power only to His disciples on the Sea of Galilee just as He did during His transfiguration when only a subset of the disciples were made aware of His true nature. He wanted them to know and understand not only who He was – the Christ – but also God and once they knew and understood this they would have a faith that would become unshakable. That would not happen all at once, but it would happen. May our faith also become unshakeable as well.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)