No Contest

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Matthew 8:28-29

Without question, the demons knew who Jesus was. They knew enough to know that He had absolute authority over them and what He was capable of. It gives us a little insight into the spirit world.

The people who walked by the men were terrified because the men were supernaturally powerful, but Jesus faced the men and the situation head on.

We know what His solution was but think for a moment about the scenario. What did His followers do? My guess is that all His followers vacated the area just like those who had passed the men. Either that or they were just lurking in the shadows waiting to see what He would do.

They had already seen what He could do against the elements, now they would see Him at work against the supernatural.

Of course we know that this wouldn’t even be a contest.

Remember, Jesus was part of the Trinity that created every living thing, and these demons were merely fallen angels – created beings.

Consider these words today. Jesus, without even trying, has got this situation under control. While others were cowering in the shadows, Jesus was stepping up to the plate. Remember this in every situation you face. While we cower and make baby sounds in the face of danger and treachery, Jesus has this under control.

Call on His name early and often. He has control over every created being and situation.

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What Kind of Man is This?

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” Matthew 8:27

Indeed, what kind of man is this who has compassion on poor souls such as us?
What kind of man is this who, as God, clothed himself as a man to be able to relate to us?
What kind of man is this who has the whole world in the palm of His hands and worries not about the affairs of kings and princes?
What kind of man is this who wants us to come to Him often for fellowship?
What kind of man is this who is patient with all of mankind?

Indeed, what kind of man is this?

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Be Still, Be Very Still

25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “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. Matthew 8:25-26

The disciples obviously noticed Jesus’ lack of assistance when they needed Him the most.

“How could He possibly sleeping?”

‘Didn’t He know the storm was raging all around Him?”

“Couldn’t he feel the water all around Him? Of course He could; he’s soaking wet.”

“Why is He so indifferent to our needs, actually to His own needs?”

Jesus, of course, was not indifferent to their needs. He wanted them to exercise a little faith.

What did that mean in this context? Did He expect them to rebuke the winds and waves too?

Probably not, but certainly in all their years on the seas, they had seen storms like this before. They knew what to do because they did it a thousand times, but because the Master was under their care, they had to get it right.

You could also look at this passage figuratively. All the souls of those onboard were in a sea of chaos. They were drowning under the weight of their own sin. Only the Master could calm the wind and waves.

And He did.

In both scenarios, the Master calms the seas and their fears.

He will also calm all of our fears today if we let Him. But we have to humble ourselves to tell Him our fears first.

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Asleep During the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. Matthew 8:23-24

I love this picture story. A storm is rocking the boat furiously but Jesus is fast asleep.

Was he just so exhausted from the day that nothing could possibly wake Him or was he testing His followers early on?

Probably both, though He must have fallen asleep quickly after getting into the boat.

He was in capable hands so why should He worry. Many of these disciples handled storms like this every week of their lives. They were experienced and knew every trick in the book, so why should He worry?

Sound familiar?

We know what happens in the rest of the story, but we certainly should rest peacefully at night, knowing that the world’s affairs are in very capable and experienced Hands.

Nothing, nothing, nothing should worry us.

But I live in the real world where worry is what we see in the news all day every day, so how can we avoid it?

Race riots.
Out of control government leaders.

We shouldn’t worry, but we do. We really should sleep so effortlessly, knowing our situation is in really good hands.

Scripture implores us to “Cast all our cares upon Him for He cares for us.” 1 Peter 5:7

We certainly need to be reminded of this once or twice a day.

Or more.

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Excuses Done Right

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus had followers who had excuses on why they couldn’t follow him just this minute.

Many of us did the same thing for a long time before we became Christians.

Even today, we make excuses for why we don’t give more, pray more, help others more, share our faith more. and on and on.

The excuses get more creative the larger the task.

No, of course we’re not expected to pray 24/7, give sacrificially, or help until it hurts.

Well, actually, we are.

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