|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:22-40 Those that put to sea in a calm, even at Christ's word, must yet prepare for a storm, and for great peril in that storm. There is no relief for souls under a sense of guilt, and fear of wrath, but to go to Christ, and call him Master, and say, I am undone, if thou dost not help me. When our dangers are over, it becomes us to take to ourselves the shame of our own fears, and to give Christ the glory of our deliverance. We may learn much out of this history concerning the world of infernal, malignant spirits, which though not working now exactly in the same way as then, yet all must at all times carefully guard against. And these malignant spirits are very numerous. They have enmity to man and all his comforts. Those under Christ's government are sweetly led with the bands of love; those under the devil's government are furiously driven. Oh what a comfort it is to the believer, that all the powers of darkness are under the control of the Lord Jesus! It is a miracle of mercy, if those whom Satan possesses, are not brought to destruction and eternal ruin. Christ will not stay with those who slight him; perhaps he may no more return to them, while others are waiting for him, and glad to receive him.
Verse 23. - But as they sailed he fell asleep; and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. In the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, this and the three following incidents are closely united - the lake-storm; the devils sent into the herd of swine; the raising of the little daughter of Jairus; the healing of the woman afflicted with the issue of blood. Although this cycle of acts is always united by the three, yet they do not occupy the same position chronologically in the three Gospels. The explanation of this probably is that in the primitive apostolic teaching it was usual to relate these four incidents of the Master's work together. In St. Matthew, between the recital of the healing of the demoniac and the raising of the daughter of Jairus, are intercalated the healing of the paralytic, and the call of Matthew, and the feast which followed. These incidents, in a more extended primitive discourse, were no doubt joined to the other four recitals. Had they used a common document, the three would surely have placed them in the same connection with other events. They most likely were worked, with many other signs, somewhere in this period of public work, and were chosen by the first preachers of "the Name" as specially illustrative acts, showing the Lord's power over the elements, over the unseen spirits of evil, over death, over wearying chronic sickness. On the sudden storm, travellers remark how, without warning, winds from the snowy summits of the neighbouring Hermon rush down the mountain gorges into the warm tropical air of the lake-basin, and in a short space of time the calm Galilee sea is lashed into storm and foam. The graphic description of Mark is, as usual, the most vivid, and gives us, in a few master-touches, the aspect of the scene. The weary Master sleeping in the stern of the fishing-boat; the pillow beneath his head; the disciples, terrified by the sudden uproar of the waves surging round their frail bark, as the wild winds rushed down on the lake, hastily awaking their tired Master. The danger must have been very real to have alarmed these Gennesaret fishermen; the storm must have been something more than the usual lake-tempests. The very words the Lord used when he lifted up his head and saw the danger, St. Mark preserves for us. With his "Hush!" he silenced the wild roar of the winds and waters; with his "Be still!" he quieted the heaving waves. Some commentators, reasoning from the Master's personal address to the elements - the winds and the waters - suppose that, in the midst of the storm, was some evil presence, who, taking advantage of our Lord's helpless condition - asleep in that frail fisher's boat - raised up the wild storm, hoping, perhaps, to cut short his life. The idea of spirits thus blending with the elements is one by no means unknown to Scripture. "Who maketh his angels winds [rather than the usual, better-known translation, 'spirits'], his ministers a flaming fire" (Psalm 104:4; Hebrews 1:7;. Job 1:12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But as he sailed he fell asleep,.... On a pillow, in the hinder part of the ship, as in Mark 4:38
and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; see Gill on Matthew 8:24.
and they were filled; with water: not the disciples, but the ship in which they were; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "their ship was filled with water". The Syriac and Persic versions render it, "the ship was almost sunk", or immersed:
and were in jeopardy; of their lives, in the utmost danger, just ready to go to the bottom. This clause is left out in the Syriac and Persic versions.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. filled—literally, "were getting filled," that is, those who sailed; meaning that their ship was so.
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