Matthew 8.23-27 – The manifestation of divine power
Posted: 12 August 2011 in Matthew

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

There is not enough room to reproduce the entire chapter here of course, but the whole of Matthew 8 is a hymn to the manifestation of God’s power and glory in the person of Jesus. In this chapter Jesus heals the sick, casts out demons and, in the passage quoted, tames the forces of nature through the mere power of his word. This is the same word that brought all things into existence at the beginning of time.

Given all of the above you might imagine that we would be pleased to have God’s power present amongst us, but the chapter ends with Jesus healing two demoniacs, and as a result being asked to leave the district in which he had performed that miracle. The problem with demonstrations of the divine power and glory is, of course, that it undercuts our pretentions to self sufficiency, and to the quasi-divine status we award ourselves. Human beings would prefer to be left to their delusions, rather than have God, with his power to heal, dwell amongst them.

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