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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Jesus - Lord Over Waves, Wind, Women, and Men!

Recently (Wednesday, August 20, 2014) I stood on the west side of the church building where I preach most Sundays and watched what weather reports said was a severe and dangerous thunderstorm bearing down on our community. A mighty wind soon roared in at around 70 miles per hour. As it bent trees and howled around me, many thoughts crowded my anxious mind — but this one never did — "I'll just stay outside and stare this storm down! I can order it to stop and it will just disappear!" I confess I'm a little wimpish — no, make that I'm a lot wimpish when it comes to staying outside and in a raging thunderstorm.. Good thing I didn't. The storm proved to be very severe. High winds damaged homes and other buildings and knocked down power lines and countless trees (some very large) all over town with the ease of a bowling ball mowing down pins. The storm damage reminded me, "You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind, you don't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger " — and you don't mouth off to a raging thunderstorm! As William Hendriksen observed, "Much that is wrong on earth can be corrected . . . But it takes deity to change the weather" (quoted in The Gospel of Matthew, Volume 1, by James Montgomery Boice; p 140).

But wait a minute — that is exactly what we see Jesus doing in Matthew 8:23-27! The Bible says He was in a boat with His disciples on the Sea of Galilee when "suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves" (vs 24a). The Greek word for "tempest" indicates a violent, tornado-like whirlwind. It quickly stirred the calm, peaceful sea into a churning, angry monster trying to drag the boat and the men in it down into a watery grave! Amazingly, we read that Jesus was asleep (vs 24b)! The disciples did what any disciple of Jesus ought to do when the storms of life threaten to undo us — they quickly awakened Him and pleaded for Him to save them. The Bible said, "He arose, and rebuked the winds and sea. And there was a great calm" (vs 26). Matthew closes his report of the incident with this brief statement in vs 27 — "And the men marveled, saying, 'What sort of Man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'" This incident is one of five miraculous events recorded in Matthew chapter 8. They decisively demonstrate that Jesus was Lord over diseases, demons, and even over the wind and waves. Matthew is preaching that Jesus Christ was Deity, God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 2:9). Christ was not subject to the power of storms or the sea — they were subject to Him! He did things only God can do. But wait a minute. What is Matthew's point in showing us Jesus is Lord over demons and diseases, and that in a showdown between Jesus and a howling storm on the sea, Jesus wins out? His point is precisely this — if Jesus Christ had the authority and power to command and tell a raging stain]. what to do, He certainly has that same authority over you and me. Don't be misled by preaching that pleads with you to "make" Jesus Lord, as if somehow Jesus does not have authority over you unless you let Him. He is Lord — over waves, winds, women, and men — that issue was settled long ago! The question is will you obey His commands and be saved, or reject Him and be lost (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Acts 2:36-38. If the winds and the waves obeyed His word, dare we do any less? Think about it.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ