Matthew 8:26
And he said to them, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?—St. Luke puts the question more strongly: “Where is your faith?” as though it had all drifted away under the pressure of their fears. Yet the word “of little faith” was singularly appropriate. They had not altogether lost their trust in Him, but they had not learnt the lesson of the centurion’s faith, and were only at ease when they heard His voice, and saw that He was watching over them.

Rebuked the winds and the sea.—This seems to have been almost, so to say, our Lord’s formula in working miracles. The fever (Luke 4:39), the frenzy of the demoniac (Mark 9:25), the tempest, are all treated as if they were hostile and rebel forces that needed to be restrained. St. Mark, with his usual vividness, gives the very words of the rebuke: “Peace, be still”—literally, be dumb, be muzzled, as though the howling wind was a maniac to be gagged and bound.

There was a great calm.—As with the fever in Matthew 8:15, so here, the work was at once instantaneous and complete. There was no after-swell such as is commonly seen for hours after a storm.

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.Why are ye fearful? - You should have remembered that the Son of God, the Messiah, was on board. You should not have forgotten that he had power to save, and that with him you are safe. So Christians should never fear danger, disease, or death. With Jesus they are safe. No enemy can reach him; and as he is safe, so they shall be also, John 14:19.

Rebuked the winds - Reproved them, or commanded them to be still. What a power was this! What irresistible proof that he was divine! His word awed the tempest and allayed the storm! There is not anywhere a sublimer description of a display of power. Nor could there be clearer proof that he was truly the Son of God.

A great calm - The winds were still, and the sea ceased to dash against the vessel and to endanger their lives.

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 he saith unto them, why are ye fearful?.... Though they had some faith in him, yet there was a great deal of fear and unbelief, for which Christ blames them, saying,

O ye of little faith: See Gill on Matthew 6:30. In Luke, the phrase is, "where is your faith?" what is become of it? You professed but just now to believe in me, is your faith gone already? In Mark it is, "how is it that ye have no faith?" That is, in exercise, their faith was very small, it could hardly be discerned: some faith they had, as appears by their application to him, but it was very little. They had no faith in him, as sleeping, that he could deliver them; but had some little faith in him that he might, could he be awaked out of sleep; and for this Christ blames them; for he, as the eternal God, was as able to save them sleeping as waking.

Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm: being awaked by his disciples, he raises his head from his pillow, stands up, and with a majestic voice, in an authoritative manner, showing some kind of resentment at the wind and sea, as if they had exceeded their commission; and the one had blown, and the other raged too much and too long; he rebukes them in such language as this, "peace, be still"; , as it is in Mark, be silent, hold your peace, stop your mouth, put a bridle on it, as the words used signify; and go on no longer to threaten with shipwreck and loss of lives; upon which the wind ceased, the sea became calm, and the ship moved quietly on.

And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 8:26. Ἐπετίμησε] increpuit, on account of the unseasonable fury of its waves. Similarly נָּעַר, Psalm 106:9; Nahum 1:4. Comp. Matthew 17:18; Luke 4:39. This rebuking of the elements (at which Schleiermacher took special offence) is the lively plastic poetry, not of the author of the narrative, but of the mighty Ruler.

On τότε Bengel observes: “Animos discipulorum prius, deinde mare composuit.” Unquestionably more original than Mark and Luke; not a case of transforming into the miraculous (Holtzmann). The miraculous does not appear till after the disciples have been addressed.

γαλήνη μέγ.] Matthew 8:24. σεισμὸς μέγ.

Here was a greater than Jonas, Matthew 12:41.Matthew 8:26, δειλοί, ὀλιγόπιστοι, He chides them first, then the winds, the chiding meant to calm fear. Cowards, men of little faith! harsh in tone but kindly meant; expressive really of personal fearlessness, to gain ascendency over panic-stricken spirits (cf. Luke).—τότε ἐγερθεὶς: He had uttered the previous words as He lay, then with a sudden impulse He rose and spoke imperial words to the elements: animos discipulorum prius, deinde mare composuit (Bengel).—ἀνέμοις, θαλάσσῃ: He rebuked both. It would have been enough to rebuke the winds which caused the commotion in the water. But the speech was impassioned and poetic, not scientific.—γαλήνη μεγάλη: antithetic to σεισμὸς μέγας, Matthew 8:24.26. faith = “trust,” “confidence.”Matthew 8:26. [381]Δειλοὶὀλιγόπιστοι, fearful—of little faith) Synonymous terms. Cf. Mark 5:36. Our Lord does not find fault with the disciples for their importunity in disturbing His rest, but for their timidity.[382]—τότε, then) Jesus calmed first the minds of His disciples, then the sea.—ἐπιτίμησε, rebuked) Satan probably had ruled in this tempest.

[381] Καὶ λέγει, And He saith) Being not at all discomposed or agitated.—V. g.

[382] In the whole life of Christ, never is there any fear of any creature evinced in all the incidents which occurred to Him.—V. g.Verse 26. - And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:30, note). The winds and waves were mastering their souls as well as their bodies. Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea. -Rebuked (ἐπετίμησε); cf. Psalm 104:7. The words spoken are recorded by St. Mark. And there was a great calm. Corresponding to the "great tempest" (ver. 24).
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