Thursday, April 2, 2009

Matthew 8

Verses 26-27, "He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, 'What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!'"

I think Matthew 8 makes a major shift. The Sermon on the Mount comes to an end in chapter 7. Now Jesus begins a portion of His ministry that makes me scratch my head a little bit. He heals a leper by touching him. That's a big no no in that society - but Jesus loves the man too much to leave him sick. I want to shout for Jesus on that one.

Then Jesus meets the Roman centurion and has an incredible conversation and we see the faith of a man that is even surprising to Jesus. Jesus turns around and heals the centurion's servant without even having to go near him. Then Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law and many others.

Then the whole cost of following Jesus part kicks in full gear. Jesus actually keeps His numbers small by talking about what it really means to follow Him. Interesting way to describe it, but the point is still the same - following Jesus is more difficult than most people think it is. Jesus knows what is on the way - persecution, pain, suffering, the cross. And it begin in the next section as a town full of people ask Jesus to leave the region.

What does all of this mean? Jesus even tells His closest twelve friends they have little faith. What does this mean for me? Following Jesus does not guarantee an easy and comfortable life. There are going to be awesome times of lives being changed for eternity, but there will also be times when people kick me in the stomach. Whatever the circumstances I must trust in God, be obedient to His leading, and love others with all I am and all I have.