Read: Matthew 8
The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:27)
When Jesus finished his inaugural sermon—the Sermon on the Mount—he came down off the mountain and got busy doing the things the Savior of the World had to do. In launching his ministry among the Jews as their Messiah, his claims to Divine status had to be authenticated.
And authenticate he did! He taught the people as no one had ever done before. The closing comments in chapter 7 as Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount describes hearers that were truly awestruck with his teaching—it was done with a power and authority they had never witnessed before. Surely this was proof that God was here.
Then Jesus cleansed a leper (8:1-4) — a hopeless, disgusting condition that brought humiliation and isolation to the sufferer, a person’s worst nightmare. Jesus actually touched this man who had not enjoyed even the most basic human contact in who knows how long, and the man was immediately healed. Truly this was proof that God was here.
Then Jesus reached out to a non-Jew, a spiritual and social “no-no” in that day, and with a simple verbal command, a Roman centurion’s paralyzed servant, who wasn’t even physically present, was healed (verses 5-13). Jesus then healed Peter’s mother-in-law as well as a host of other infirmed and afflicted people (verses 14-17). Some of those whom he healed were severely tormented by evil spirits, and with the word of his mouth, Jesus delivered each one of them and banished the demons from tormenting them further (verses 16,28-34). Surely this was proof that God was here.
But perhaps the most dramatic exercise of his Divine authority was the calming of the storm (verses 23-27). As Jesus and his disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee, a fierce storm arose and the men literally feared for their lives, while Jesus slept in the boat. Then, with as much ease as it takes to brush a piece of lint off a garment, Jesus arose and rebuked the storm, and it subsided.
At this, the disciples, who had heard his spell-binding teaching, had witnessed his miracles of healing, had seen demons flee like little squealing school girls from his presence, dropped their jaws in amazement: even the physical universe submitted to his commands. Truly this was the living proof of a loving God. Surely Jesus was Lord and Savior of the world! Without a doubt, this was proof that God was here.
So here’s the deal: If Jesus’ words are Divinely authoritative, if no physical malady can withstand his healing touch, if demons wither in his presence, if even the storms of this world have to obey him, then why can’t you be confident in the face of any problem in your life right now?
What is keeping you from putting full faith and exercising full obedience in Jesus Christ? What further proof do you need that a loving God has come to you in the person of Jesus Christ? In light of who he is and what he can do, why not do today what the Roman centurion did 2,000 years ago: Give him your complete trust and full devotion. How awesome it would be if Jesus could say of you,
“I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust anywhere.”
(Matthew 8:10, The Message)
“I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” ~Saint Augustine
What If God Took Over?
Why not offer this prayer of trust to the God who is right here, right now? “O Lord, I want to trust you with the trust of that Roman centurion. You are Lord over disease, demons, and even the elements of the physical world, and you deserve to be the Lord of my life. This day, remove any doubts, fears and reluctances so that I might give you my complete trust and my full devotion, and more than ever before, take over my life!”