What Sort of Man Is This?
Matthew 8: 27 They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”
It’s one of those stories we’ve heard or read since childhood. Jesus has been busy preaching and healing people and finally he gets in the boat with his disciples as they begin to cross the sea. Jesus is so exhausted that he falls asleep and continues sleeping so soundly that he does not wake up when a terrible storm stirs up around the boat. The disciples are terrified and they wake him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Jesus had performed miracles for others, surely he would do something to save all of them.
Jesus gets up and rebukes the wind and there is dead calm. It doesn’t just slow down a little, it all stops! At this moment the disciples are stunned. They cried out to Jesus -- but what did they expect? Maybe just a slight calming of the storm but complete control over the weather — that was beyond their imagination. In their amazement they cry out, “What sort of man is this?” The word used here is one that question the origins of this man…where is he from…what is he made of…he’s not like the rest of us!
It’s in this boat that we see the true nature of Christ revealed to us. He is fully human! Jesus is exhausted from all the work and the journey. He falls fast asleep for his human body can take no more. But when he is awakened and he cries out to the wind and the sea, his deity is revealed. The question is an appropriate one for there never has been and never again will be a “man” like Jesus who was fully God and fully man. This truth is being revealed to his followers little by little for they were simply following a rabbi without comprehending his true nature. It is the question which begs an answer that reveals the unique nature of Christ and his ability to set people free.
You and I must come to the place where we are willing to cry out, “What sort of man is this?” It is in the experiential that we are challenged to ask this question. However, we must be willing to follow Christ, just as the disciples. They didn’t necessarily know where this journey was going to lead. Neither do we! We have to step out on faith, following Christ and there comes a moment when we discover that we are in the boat with him. We have traveled this far by faith and are enjoying the journey — until the storm comes.
What will we do in the midst of the storm? Maybe we ought to follow the pattern of the disciples and cry out to the Lord. He has the power to calm to the storm and as we put our faith and trust in him, he is revealed to us. We are called to follow the Son of God! This Jesus in whom we put our faith and trust is not just an ordinary, good man. Being a Christian is not about a lifestyle or certain particular practices, it is about a personal relationship with God incarnate that is transformational.
When the disciples began to understand, little by little, who Jesus really was, they were never the same again. When we really begin to catch of glimpse of what sort of man Jesus is — we will never be the same! This Jesus who calms the storms and was raised from the dead is drawing us into a personal relationship with him — one that is transformational in ways that we can’t even begin to understand.
Lord, please help me to follow you into the boat and on the journey where I experience the sort of man you are. Amen.