to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 08, 2019 – Tuesday
Matthew 8:27 NIV
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Who were these men? Where were they? What man were they talking about? Why were they amazed? Great question to start with our first posting from the New Testament. So let’s get started on getting the answers to our questions.
The men? They were Jesus’ disciples, His twelve disciples. No, we are not told all twelve were with Him, but verse twenty-three implies all twelve when it says Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him. Their names were Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Nathanael (aka Bartholomew), Matthew, Thomas, James (the Younger or Lesser), Simon, Thaddaeus (aka Jude), and Judas. They were all in the boat with the man they were talking about – Jesus who they followed into the boat. They were in a boat with Jesus somewhere in the Sea of Galilee. The boat was like many from that time, about twenty-six feet long and would hold approximately fourteen people so it was pretty full along with its oars and a mast for a sail, plus a platform at the stern of the ship
So now we ask Why were they, the disciples, amazed though? Setting the scene verse twenty-four tells Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. And verse twenty-five says The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” This was not a false fear on the part of the disciples for sudden very fierce storms could seemingly come out of nowhere on the Sea of Galilee. Likely all knew of friends, relatives, or acquaintances who had been lost in such storms. And this was a bad one, waves were already pouring over the sides of the boat and there may have been an earthquake as well if the Greek word translated as a great storm literally means earthquake. Thus, there can be no doubt, it was a storm of Biblical proportions.
So of course these disciples, most hardened seamen, were frightened, very frightened and awakened Jesus asking Him to save them. What did Jesus do that so amazed them? Once awake Jesus said to them in the next verse “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. That was what amazed them. Let me add what I imagine the scene to be like, Jesus awake, maybe first rubbing His eyes and stretching and after calmly looking about said to His disciples You of little faith, why are you so afraid? And after saying that He got up and He rebuked the winds and the waves quietly and effortlessly whereupon immediately the wind was calm and the sea was calm.
Even though they knew Jesus was the Messiah, this was beyond their experience. Thus they asked in their amazement “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!” They were learning He was more than the Messiah, He was and remains God.
For us there is a great lesson. No matter what storms we go through in life, if we go through them with Jesus we are covered. Maybe not in this life, but we are surely covered and can have great confidence He is with us able to calm the storms in our lives no matter what they are. This speaks directly to me as I come to the seventh day of uncontrolled hiccups that range from mild to almost violent day and night. Nonetheless, my trust remains in Him.
(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)