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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

When God Sleeps

The Bible is so rich and because many of us don’t know the Old Testament as well as we should, we can often overlook something very significant. I am certainly guilty as well of not knowing the Old Testament like I should. I am getting this from the works of Tim Gray and Scott Hahn.

So here is what Matthew 8:24-27 says:
And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep.
25 And they came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!"
26 And He said to them, "Why are you timid, you men of little faith?" Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm.
27 And the men marveled, saying, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

Now if we knew the Old Testament like we should, this story of Jesus should remind us of the story of Jonah.
There are 6 parallels in this story and they are as follows:

  1. Both Jesus and Jonah set sail on a boat.
  2. Both are caught in a storm on the sea.
  3. Both fall asleep
  4. In the story of Jesus and Jonah, the sailors are terrified.
  5. Both groups of sailors cry out to God for help.
  6. Both Jonah and Jesus somehow bring out the calming of the sea.
  7. Both groups of sailors marvel at the calming of the sea.

The significance of the Story is this: After both this story in Mathew and the one in Jonah, both Jesus and Jonah go and help out some Gentiles. Jonah goes and preaches to the Assyrians who capital is Nineveh, while Jesus goes and cast out demons from the Garadene demoniac.

This sort shows us something else about Jesus. It not only shows us that Jesus is like a new Jonah, but it also reveals his divinity.
Lets look at Psalm 107:28-30 In the context, some sailors are being to and fro by a terrible storm on the sea. It reads:
28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress; 29 he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

This is exactly what happens in Matthew 8. Showing the divinity of Christ that he is The LORD.
You know when you read the Old Testament and it says LORD in all caps. That is talking about the very name of God himself. Yahweh that he gave to Moses.

So Jesus is showing us here that he is THE LORD who can rebuke the seas and they listen to him.

Here are some spiritual interpretations that the saints saw in these passages.
Moral interpretation:(St. John Chrysostom, Horn, in Matt. 28),the wave-tossed boat signifies the struggles of the Christian life. Endangered by the wind and fierce waves, God’s people are awakened by spiritual assaults and become aware of their helplessness. They call upon the Lord for salvation and inner peace. The near presence of Christ assures their deliverance, and his swiftness strengthens their wavering faith.

Moral interpretation: (St. Augustine, Sermo 51), the episode at sea signifies the drama of the Christian life. All of God’s children embark with Christ on a life that is full of dangerous storms, especially attacks from evil spirits and temptations of the flesh. We must learn to trust in Christ daily, since he alone can restrain these forces and bring us to the safe harbor of salvation. See note on Mt 8:23-27.

There are three sources fro this information and I highly recommend them all.
Scott Hahn's Ignatius Commentary -

Scott Hahn's audio commentary found here -

listen FREE to Tim Gray Here -

1 comment:

dies irae said...

Dude. Thanks for all the great lessons and truth!

I do have one loving correction/reproof, though. When you speak of the Holy Name, the word is not spelled out, yet is four letters (called the Tetragrammaton, "YHWH"). In Liturgiam Authenticam and Letter to the Bishops' Conferences on the Name of God, instructions are given to use a substitution for the Tetragrammoton such as Lord or God. Granted these documents are for the translation of Scripture and the use of the Name of God in the liturgy, but these things should also flow over into our lives.

You're a blessing. Continue to worship His Sacred Name!