Matthew 8:23
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
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(23) The two narratives that follow are brought together in all three Gospels; but St. Mark and St. Luke place them, as we have seen, after the parables which St. Matthew gives in chapter 13

Entered into a ship.—The better MSS. give, as often elsewhere, “the ship,” or boat—i.e., one which, belonging possibly to Peter or the sons of Zebedee, was always ready at their Master’s service. St. Mark adds that “they took Him, even as He was, in the boat,” the words indicating apparently extreme exhaustion from the fatigue of teaching. This, we learn, was followed by immediate sleep as He lay in the stern on the boat’s cushion as a pillow.

Matthew 8:23-27. When he was entered into the ship — Being, as is said above, about to cross the lake; his disciples followed him — Even as many as were desirous of learning of him, and could get a passage, either in that vessel or any others that were near. And there arose a great tempest in the sea Σεισμος μεγας, a great commotion, or, agitation of the waters, namely, in consequence of a sudden change of the weather, and storm coming on: an emblem this of the storms of persecution which should afterward assault his church. Insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves — Which threatened to sink it and all that were in it to the bottom. So the time of man’s extremity is God’s opportunity: but he was asleep — Being fatigued, it seems, with the labours of the day. And his disciples awoke him — Being terribly afraid, while they beheld the sky lowering, heard the winds roaring, and observed the sea and the clouds to be driven with the fury of the tempest; saying, Lord, save us, we perish — Thus manifesting both their faith in his power, and their weakness in not considering who was with them in the ship. And he saith, Why are ye fearful — Can ye imagine that God would suffer me to be lost in a tempest? or that I would consult my own safety in the neglect of yours? The disciples, having seen their Master perform many miracles, had abundant reason to rely on his power and goodness, even in a greater danger than this. For, though their vessel had sunk, he who gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, drove away palsies and fevers with speaking a word, could easily have saved them all, by making them walk firmly on the water, as he enabled one of them to do afterward. Their timidity, therefore, was altogether culpable, and the reproof he gave them just; O ye of little faith? — As if he had said, You undertook this voyage at my command, and are you afraid that you should perish in it? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds — As a master might do a company of turbulent servants. First he composed the spirits of his disciples, then the sea. And there was a great calm — Namely, instantly, as soon as he had uttered the words, Peace, be still, Mark 4:39. But the men marvelled — Luke says, Being afraid, they wondered, Luke 8:25 : and Mark, They feared exceedingly; saying, What manner of man is this? — Surely he is more than man, who can thus command winds and seas! This reflection of theirs, as well as their fear in the time of danger, may seem to some unaccountable, considering to how many and great miracles of his they had been witnesses. But it must be observed that hitherto his miracles were generally upon diseased persons, and that, till now, he had given no proof of his dominion over the elements of wind and water, which, it seems, were thought less subject to human power than distempers of the body.

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.Into a ship - This was on the Sea of Tiberias. The "ship" in which they sailed was probably a small open boat with sails, such as was commonly used for fishing on the lake.

His disciples - Not merely the apostles, but probably many others. There were many other ships in company with him, Mark 4:36. This circumstance would render the miracle much more striking and impressive.

Mt 8:23-27. Jesus Crossing the Sea of Galilee, Miraculously Stills a Tempest. ( = Mr 4:35-41; Lu 8:22-25).

For the exposition, see on [1237]Mr 4:35-41.

See Poole on "Matthew 8:27".

And when he was entered into a ship,.... Which was got ready by his disciples, or hired by them for his use, according to the directions he had given,

his disciples followed him into the ship, and they only; for as for the men hereafter mentioned, they were the men that belonged to the ship, and had the management of it: the multitude were dismissed, and in order to be clear of them, Christ took this method; and being desirous also of trying the faith of his disciples, he ordered it so, that they should be alone with him.

{6} And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

(6) Although Christ often seems to neglect his own, even in most extreme dangers, yet in due time he calms all tempests, and brings his own to the haven.

Matthew 8:23 ff. Comp. Mark 4:36 ff.; Luke 8:22 ff.

τὸ πλοῖον] the boat standing ready to convey them over, Matthew 8:18.

οἱ μαθηταί] not the Twelve in contrast to the multitude, Matthew 8:18 (Fritzsche), which is forbidden by Matthew 9:9, but His disciples generally, who, as appears from the context, are in the present instance those who had joined themselves more closely to Him, and were following Him, as the scribe also of Matthew 8:19 and the person indicated in Matthew 8:21 had declared their willingness to do.

Matthew 8:23-27. Storm on the lake (Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25).

23. a ship] Rather, the ship or fishing-boat, i. e. the boat which Jesus always used.

23–27. The Storm on the Lake. Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25St Mark, as usual, adds some interesting details: “it was evening-there were other little ships-a great storm of wind—the waves beat into the ship—He was asleep on a pillow in the hinder part of the ship.”

With all these points of difference in seven short verses, how can it be said that St Mark’s Gospel is an abridgment of St Matthew’s?

Matthew 8:23. Τὸ πλοῖον, the vessel) The article refers by implication to Matthew 8:18. Jesus had a moving school: and in that school His disciples were instructed much more solidly than if they had dwelt under the roof of a single college, without any anxiety or temptation.

Verses 23-27. - The storm on the lake. Parallel passages: Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25. Matthew, as usual, is both shorter and less precise. Nosgen and others see in this an "undesigned coincidence" with his still being at "the receipt of custom" (Matthew 9:9). Verse 23. - And when he was entered into a ship (Revised Version, boat), his disciples followed him. Did St. Matthew see in the very order of embarking a symbol of the Christian life? It may be so, but a more probable reason for mentioning the order is that our Lord was, perhaps, on this occasion not using a beat that belonged to any of the disciples. Passage may have been given to him at his request, and of course the disciples went where he went. Matthew 8:23
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