Yesterday, we walked through Matthew 8:23-27…
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “ Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “ Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him? (ESV)
The title of yesterday’s message was, “The Faith to Follow Jesus.” This was on the heals of the message, “The Cost of Following Jesus.” All of this relates to Christ, His authority, and the nature of following Christ all the way into His kingdom. The culmination of the text from yesterday is this response of amazement in the form of a question: “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?”
I shared with you a reflection by Spurgeon on this point (“The Gospel of the Kingdom”), that the appropriate response to the King of Creation is not amazement, but worship…adoration. That doesn’t mean amazement isn’t a good thing. It’s just not the final thing. Just like “small” faith is better than NO faith, having small faith in a BIG God doesn’t make sense and shouldn’t produce in us contentment. In fact, where our faith goes, and essentially our discipleship, depends on how we answer the question, “What sort of man is this?”
The disciples begin to answer this question within the question, “…that even the winds and sea obey him?” Yes, this man has the authority of God. This is the God-Man. How would you respond to this realization? How DO you respond to this realization? Amazement? Certainly. Wonder? Of course. Obedience? Well, that depends on whether or not you have been brought to faith to worship this God-Man, Jesus the Christ.
How all this hits on Monday morning was articulated in our benediction yesterday…
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:1-5 (ESV)
Believing what the Bible has to say about what sort of man Jesus is, will lead to worship, which is most biblically captured in obedience, even to His commands. In fact, what is discipleship but to obey all that Christ commands (Matt.28:18-20)? Doesn’t this command of discipleship stem from His authority? Absolutely. This is where all of these glorious works of Christ culminates for His people: His revealed authority produces discipleship who worship through obedience.
How does that hit you today? If you find it hard to obey His commands (I certainly do), remember His authority over all things. He is worthy, and His worth will captivate the heart passion of true disciples. From that desire you will long to obey and delight in your discipline to do so. Don’t give up or grow weary in this pursuit. He is the “sort of man” who rules all, including the hearts of His people to draw them to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.