Daily Prayer Devotional for Women and Men | OnlinePrayerJournal

Devotional

(From Scripture Union)

Pray

Lord, give us the presence of mind to call upon You in stormy seas.

Read

MATTHEW 8:23–27

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 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.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

Consider

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (Psa. 23:4, ESV)

Think Further

Matthew groups the next set of miracles to demonstrate Jesus’ authority over humans, demons and nature. The disciples, who are offstage in the earlier miracle stories, are included here because the message of these miracles is directed at them. Some Christians who believe that Jesus had the power to heal may still hold misgivings about his nature miracles—such as walking on water. Jesus does indeed still this storm, however, and it is important that his disciples experience his divine authority in the natural world. This is not mere display. He has already turned his back on such abuse of power (Matt. 4:5–7). He appears reluctant and disappointed that the disciples do not feel secure in his presence. He calms the storm, but he wants the disciples to understand far more. Jesus never uses the word “miracle” himself but only the word “sign.” His miracles are real, not allegorical, but many times they have deeper meanings, which his disciples must learn to discern.

Jesus leads the way by boarding the boat. His disciples follow him across the sea to an unfamiliar Gentile shore (18). Matthew’s community and the early church understood that following Jesus involves crossing traditional boundaries into unknown territory. Jesus goes ahead and calls us to follow. Some of us obey. The journey will not always be easy. The “other side” (18) may be unfamiliar. This is not just about the normal storms of life but about the stormy experience of those who follow Jesus. In the early church, this meant both following Jesus into the Christian community and then into the dangerous life of witness in a hostile world. This is why the little boat on the stormy sea has become an ancient symbol of the church.

Apply

The next time a fierce storm arises out of nowhere in your life, keep in mind that Jesus is still in the boat with you.

Pray

Lord, I step into Your boat. I trust Your power to protect me on the journey. I know that You will still be with me on the other side.


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