|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:23-27 It is a comfort to those who go down to the sea in ships, and are often in perils there, to reflect that they have a Saviour to trust in and pray to, who knows what it is to be on the water, and to be in storms there. Those who are passing with Christ over the ocean of this world, must expect storms. His human nature, like to ours in every thing but sin, was wearied, and he slept at this time to try the faith of his disciples. They, in their fear, came to their Master. Thus is it in a soul; when lusts and temptations are swelling and raging, and God is, as it were, asleep to it, this brings it to the brink of despair. Then it cries for a word from his mouth, Lord Jesus, keep not silence to me, or I am undone. Many that have true faith, are weak in it. Christ's disciples are apt to be disquieted with fears in a stormy day; to torment themselves that things are bad with them, and with dismal thoughts that they will be worse. Great storms of doubt and fear in the soul, under the power of the spirit of bondage, sometimes end in a wonderful calm, created and spoken by the Spirit of adoption. They were astonished. They never saw a storm so turned at once into a perfect calm. He that can do this, can do any thing, which encourages confidence and comfort in him, in the most stormy day, within or without, Isa 26:4.
Verse 27. - But (Revised Version, and) the men. Perhaps the disciples ("Sic als Menschen staunch," Nosgen), but probably those to whom the boat belonged (ver. 23, note), the crew. It seems very far-fetched to explain it of all men who heard of the miracle. Marvelled. As the multitudes (Matthew 9:33; but contrast Matthew 14:33). Saying, What manner of man is this? (Ποταπός ἐστιν οϋτος). Parallel passages, "Who then?" (τίς ἄρα;). The term indicates the slightness of their knowledge of his character (probably not his origin, which, according to Phryn. [Wetstein], would be ποδαπός; though it may be doubted whether the distinction can be pressed in Hellenistic Greek). They seem, with Nicodemus, to have recognized that holiness was an essential condition of performing miracles (John 3:2), but not to have realized that this condition was satisfied in Jesus. That even the winds and the sea obey him. "Him," emphatic (αὐτῷ ὑπακούουσιν). The miracle! has been seen to be a parable of the security of the ship of the Church since at least the days of Tertullian ('De Bapt.,' § 12). (For the comparison generally of the Church to a ship, compare especially Bishop Lightfoot on Ignatius, 'Polyc.,' § it.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the men marvelled,.... Mark says, "they feared exceedingly"; and Luke, "they being afraid, wondered": they were filled with astonishment and fear, or reverence: there was such a shine of majesty, such a lustre of divine power appeared in this affair. The other two evangelists seem to refer this to the disciples, which Matthew seems to ascribe to the men, the mariners that were in the ship; it is likely it had the same effect on both; and both were abundantly convinced of his deity and dignity, saying,
what manner of man, or person
is this? For the word "man", is not in the text; of what qualities, perfections and powers, is he possessed? Surely he must be more than a mere man; he can be no other than the mighty God,
that even the winds and the sea obey him: which can be said of no other, than the most high God: never was such a thing heard of, that the winds and sea should be rebuked by a mere creature, and should obey. That man must be infidel to "revelation", that can read this account, and deny the deity of Christ; to one or other of these he must be drove, either to deny the truth of the fact, and the circumstances of it, or believe that Jesus Christ is truly and properly God, as the disciples and mariners did.
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