Summary: No matter what the storm may be, Jesus will always be there to see us through it.
A Messiah In the Midst of a Storm
Text: Matt. 8:23-27
1. Illustration: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in
a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so
conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great
battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of
that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their
lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and
proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense, we cannot
dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.
The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be
dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here
have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here
dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which
they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly
resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this
nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people shall
not perish from the earth.
2. Last week as I stood on the spot where Abraham Lincoln spoke these immortal words, I was overwhelmed with a sense of his reaction to a storm.
a. It was not a storm of thunder and lightning or snow.
b. Rather it was a storm of a political and moral implications.
c. However, it was the greatest storm that this nation has ever faced.
d. And it was his reaction to that storm that saved our nation.
3. In our text this morning, we learn much about the storms of life. We learn:
a. There will be storms
b. Reaction is everything
c. Realization is key
4. Read Matt. 8:23-27
Proposition: No matter what the storm may be, Jesus will always be there to see us through it.
Transition: The first thing we need to recognize is...
I. There Will Be Storms (23-24)
A. Suddenly, A Fierce Storm
1. This narrative begins with "Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples."
a. Lit. "The disciples followed him."
b. This goes to show that following Jesus does not make us immune to storms.
c. They weren’t being disobedient, back-sliding, or going astray. They were doing what they are supposed to do.
d. Yet they are still walking into a storm.
2. These are men who were accustomed to dealing with storms.
a. These disciples, only four of whom have been named (Peter, Andrew, James, and John), have probably crossed the sea many times, being professional fishermen.
b. But they are in for a trip that will mark them forever (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Matthew, 350).
c. This shows that experience and preparedness also do not make us immune to the storms.
d. Preparation is good; experience is wonderful; but storms will still come our way.
3. Another thing that we learn about storms is they hit unexpectantly. Matthew tells us, "Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat."
a. Ancient writers all acclaim the Sea of Galilee for its fresh waters and pleasant temperatures, unlike the Dead Sea.
b. It had clear sandy beaches along the seashore and was well stocked with fish.
c. The lake’s low elevation (636 feet below sea level) provided it with mild year-round temperatures, permitting sleeping outdoors as a common practice.
d. However, surrounded by mountain ranges to the east and west that rise over 2,650 feet from the level of the lake, especially infamous was an east wind that blew in over the mountains, particularly during the spring and fall.
e. The lake’s low-lying setting resulted in sudden violent downdrafts and storms that produced waves seven feet and more, easily able to swamp a boat (Wilkins, , 351).
f. Storms in life will hit us when we least expect it, and often when things seem to be going well.
4. Moreover, we learn that storms in life can be "fierce."
a. Matthew uses the Greek word seismos to describe the storm. This is an unusual nuance for a word that generally refers to the shaking of earthquakes (Turner, 131).
b. It was severe enough that these experienced fishermen where terrified.