But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
This text gives the impression produced by one of the most striking miracles that Jesus wrought. It belongs to the curlier part of the ministry, when men scarcely knew what to think of him. Christ was asleep in the boat, lying on an old sail, or on John's fisher-coat - so fast asleep that the howling wind, and creaking oars, and flapping waves, did not disturb him. The fishermen scarcely knew what to do for the best. It took all their rowing to keep the boat's head to the wind, and she was fast filling with the waves that broke over her sides. At last, in their despair, they awoke the Master. He rose as calmly as if there was no danger, and spoke the words which declared him to be the Lord of nature, but set the fishermen wondering who he was. All Christ's life was a revelation of himself. Revelation can come by acts and by words, by nature, by a book, or by a life. Miracles are revelations; so we ask - What does this miracle reveal?
I. THE REVELATION IT MAKES OF THE PERSON OF CHRIST. Throughout his life the question was asked, "Who is he?" "What think ye of Christ?" it was asked by his countrymen of Nazareth; by his disciples; by John the Baptist; by the Pharisees from Jerusalem. Christ's answer is, "If ye believe not me, believe the works." Then look at this work.
1. It gives deep impression of Christ's being within humanity. See the suggestions of his sleep. His sleepless nights of prayer do not surprise us; his tiredness does. A human Saviour is he who sleeps.
2. It gives deep impression of Christ's being beyond humanity. He controls the storms; commands the threes of nature. If that man is under limitations, he must have put himself under limitations voluntarily. Show how the thought of Christ has grown. Carpenter, great Teacher; wonderful Hakim; Messiah; Son of God. Then spiritual Savior; and to us ideal Manhood - "God manifest in the flesh."
II. THE REVELATION IT MAKES OF THE MISSION OF CHRIST. Which was to show men the Father. He told them what the Father was, and what the Father thought. He showed them what the Father was always doing in his love to them. What, then, did he show here? How the Father-God is ever at work, controlling the hindering and distressing circumstances that imperil us. In the Old Testament water is the type of the oppositions of outward circumstances. Illustrate: the Red Sea; the river Jordan. We often think ourselves mastered by outward things, or at least find in them our excuses. This is the age of masterful circumstances; so we need this miracle, and its assurance that our Father-God holds the waters - and all they represent - in the hollow of his hand. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!