Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth you are the Son of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They that were in the ship.—The peculiar description was apparently intended to distinguish them from Peter and the other disciples, and probably indicates that they were the crew of the boat, or some chance passengers, who had no previous knowledge of our Lord and of His works. They too were led, in that moment of wonder, to the confession that the Prophet of Nazareth was more than man, and in this, as far as the Gospel record goes, they anticipated the faith even of the foremost of the disciples. It is significant that Peter’s confession that He was “the Son of God,” or “the Holy One of God” (John 6:69), follows shortly upon this.John 6:21 that the ship was immediately at the land whither they went; another proof, amid this collection of wonders, that the Son of God was with them. They came, therefore, and worshipped him, acknowledging him to be the Son of God. That is, they gave him homage, or honored him as the Son of God. They, that is, Christ and Peter, whom we must suppose to have walked some way with Christ upon the sea. Christ by his company making his mighty power more conspicuous; so as the Manichees had no reason to conclude, from Christ’s walking on the sea, that he had no true human body, for sure Peter had; and they must ascribe little to our Saviour’s Divine nature, that will not allow him to have had a power to suspend the natural motion downward, which we see in all gravity, which is an affection of all human bodies. No sooner was Christ come into the ship, but the wind ceased, in testimony of its homage to him, who bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
They that were in the ship came and worshipped him, paying a religious homage unto him, as he who had preserved their lives from so great a danger; and they further owned him to be
the Son of God. This was that great point which God was bringing the world to the acknowledgment of, and we see it was done by degrees. His miracles at first only procured a veneration of him, and a faith that he had his power from God. Then he comes to be acknowledged the Son of David by the blind man. The miracle of the five loaves brought many to acknowledge him that Prophet that should come into the world. This is the first time we meet with so plain and open an acknowledgment of his being the Son of God: this was done not only by his disciples, but by the mariners, and the passengers in the ship, but it was far from a steady faith as to that point, which the disciples yet wanted.
came and worshipped him: not merely in a civil, but in a religious way; being convinced, by what they saw, that he must be truly and properly God, and worthy of adoration;
saying, of a truth, thou art the Son of God: not by creation, as angels and men, nor by office, as magistrates, but by nature; being of the same essence, perfections, and power, with God, his Father: and which these actions of his now done, as well as many others, are full attestations of; as his walking upon the sea, causing Peter to do so too, saving him when sinking, and stilling the wind and waves upon his entrance into the vessel; all which being observed by the disciples and mariners, drew out this confession upon full conviction from them, that he was a divine person, and the proper object of worship.Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 14:33. Θεοῦ υἱός] the Messiah. See note on Matthew 3:17. The impression recorded in the text was founded, so far as the people were concerned, upon the miraculous walking on the sea itself, and partly upon the connection which existed, and which they recognised as existing, between the calming of the storm and the going on board of Jesus and Peter. οἱ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ are not the disciples (Hilgenfeld, Schegg, Keim, Scholten), but those who, besides them, were crossing in the boat, the crew and others. Comp. οἱ ἄνθρωποι, Matthew 8:27. By means of an expression of this general nature they are distinguished from the μαθηταί (Matthew 14:26), who had hitherto been in question. Grotius limits the meaning too much when he says: “ipsi nautae.” Mark omits this concluding part of the incident, and merely records the great astonishment on the part of the disciples. As it stands in Matthew, it is to be regarded as connecting a traditional amplification with the episode of Peter, which that evangelist has embodied in his narrative, but yet as containing nothing improbable, in so far as it makes it appear that the outburst of astonishment was so great that it expressed itself in the acknowledgment of our Lord’s Messiahship, especially as it is to be borne in mind that the miraculous feeding of the multitudes (John 6:14-15) had taken place but so short a time before. Moreover, this is, according to Matthew, the first time that Jesus was designated the Son of God by men (Matthew 3:17, Matthew 4:3, Matthew 8:29). According to John (John 1:50), He had already been so styled by Nathanael; in the present instance He received the designation from those who, as yet, were not of the number of His disciples.Matthew 14:33. οἱ ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ: cf. οἱ ἄνθρωποι in Matthew 8:27; presumably the disciples alone referred to.—ἀληθῶς θ. υ. εἶ, a great advance on ποταπός (Matthew 8:27). The question it implies now settled: Son of God.33. the Son of God] See note, ch. Matthew 4:6.Verse 33. - Matthew only. Then - and (Revised Version, δέ) - they that were in the ship; boat (Revised Version). If there were others than the disciples in the boat, as is probable, these also would be included; but the disciples would naturally take the lead (cf. the notes on Matthew 8:23, 27). Came and. The Revised Version omits these two words, with the manuscripts. They are due to the analogy of Matthew 8:2; Matthew 9:18. Worshipped him (Matthew 4:9, note). In Matthew 8:27 we read of wonder; here, of homage. Saying, Of a truth (ἀληθῶς); cf. Matthew 5:18, s.v. "verily." The word seems to imply that the suggestion did not enter their minds now for the first time. Two had, perhaps, heard the words spoken at the baptism (Matthew 3:17), and most of them, if not all, the utterance by the demons in Matthew 8:29. Yet these utterances in reality far surpassed what they even nosy imagined (vide infra). Thou art the Son of God (Θεοῦ υἱὸς εϊ). Although the phrase is not of the definite form found in Matthew 26:63 and Matthew 16:16, where it is used with express reference to the Messiahship of Jesus (cf. for the intermediate form, Matthew 27:40 with 43), yet it is impossible to take it here as merely referring to a moral relation between Jesus and God. In Matthew 27:54 this might be sufficient (Luke has "righteous"); but here there is no question of coming up to a standard of moral uprightness, but rather of manifestation of power, and this is connected with Messiah. His authority over the elements leads to the homage of those who witness its exercise, and forces from them the expression that he is the promised Representative of God on earth (Psalm 2:7; cf. Matthew 2:15, note). Observe, however, that not even so is it a profession of faith in his absolute Divinity. (Kubel's note on this subject in Matthew 8:29 is very good.)
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