The Novel Call to Faith
Matthew 8:23-27
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.…

In introduction, emphasize the little chain of events that led to the position of peril, as in every sense natural, as wearing that appearance, and justly wearing it, and resent the imputation that it was an artificial one. The suggestive parallel or contrast, so often pointed to by various students of the New Testament in many an age, may be recalled, viz. that of Jonah fleeing from duty in a ship, falling asleep through a callous heart and a stupefied conscience, and creating peril for all his fellow-voyagers. Allow respecting the disciples now that there was much natural in their fear, and right in a secondary degree, though secondary only in their repairing with anxious cry to Jesus Christ in their extremity, as they supposed, of danger. But show, on the other hand, that the time was one of deeper teaching; the opportunity one of getting a word, and. a powerful word, in for exercise of higher faith; and the crisis had arrived when, for the disciples at any rate, a step in advance was to be taken, and they are compelled to see it. For -


1. He was asleep, but it was he.

2. He was asleep, but he was in the ship.

3. He was asleep, but it was certain he did "care" for his disciples, and did care that they should "not perish."

II. THE CALL TO FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST WAS FOR SUCH FAITH TO OWN HIM OMNIPOTENT MASTER IN EVERY AND ALL DIRECTIONS OF GOD'S WIDE DOMAIN. It was g new surprise that "winds and sea obey him." But if it were this, a new surprise what did it mean, except that they knew it not before or doubted it before?

III. THE CALL TO EXERCISE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST WAS A CALL TO BELIEVE THAT THE ENEMIES TO BE SUBJUGATED BY HIM WERE NOT SUCH AS COULD BE CALLED ACCIDENT AND THINGS UNCONSCIOUS, BUT UNSEEN FOES IN DISASTROUS ALLIANCE WITH THESE. Christ "rebuked" the "winds and sea." The alliance of spirit with flesh and blood and matter of such kind (wonderful and mysterious as is the bridge from one to another, the subtle but powerful and, for long lasting, tyrannous link between them), is undenied; and is so familiar as a phenomenon and a fact with us that we think not, at all about it, except with special effort and on special occasion. Yet deeper things are betrayed to us in revelation and by revelation, viz. such a thing as this, that spirit may possess other matter and other forms of matter; and tyrannously dominate the ubiquitous "elements of nature" and their forces. The deeper and less recognized whisperings and suggestions of revelation are sometimes equivalent to authoritative pronouncements of what we had once named the superstitious figments of heathen minds. Let it be they were such; yet how cravingly, inquiringly, wearily, and not altogether vainly, did they roam round and beat at the bonds and environment of their ignorance; and sometimes they touched truth! The disciples were taught such truths, and we through them. - B.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

WEB: When he got into a boat, his disciples followed him.

The Disciples in a Storm
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