Sunday 1 September 2013

Matthew 8:18-34 - Follow, faith and fear

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Matthew 8:18-34 contains three stories of Jesus interacting with people in different situations. We can learn a lot from stories like these.

He told his disciples to cross Galilee, they had been in Capernaum on the northern shore (where Peter's house was) and a large crowd had gathered. One of the scribes responded by saying he'd follow Jesus anywhere. Jesus effectively tells him there will be no settling anywhere.

Another disciple wants to bury his father before following, which probably implies living at home and caring for his parents until they have passed away. But if we want the life Jesus offers we need to take it right away.

When the party sets out to cross Galilee, a storm blows up and the agitated disciples wake a slumbering Jesus because they are terrified. Some of them are seasoned fishermen, well used to conditions on the lake. It must have been severe weather.

And when they arrive on the part of the southern shore closest to the city of Gadara he is met by two demon-possessed men and commands he demons to leave.

So in these few verses we hear about Jesus' authority over people, over the physical world, and over dark, spiritual forces. In the case of the physical and spiritual realms his word is authority enough.

Hoiw does this compare with the first case, the disciple who wants to put family ahead of following?

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