Matthew 8:23-34

Jesus calms the storm.
For parallels see Mk 4:36-41, Lk 8:22-25, and Jn 6:16-21.
v.23 The disciples followed Jesus into the boat to cross to the other side of the lake. They don’t know it yet, but this will be a test of their discipleship. The boat is presumably of sufficient size to fit all of the disciples and Jesus. A Galilean fishing boat from the era could hold 15 men and was about 27 feet long (esvsb).
v.24 While Jesus slept in the boat, the weather started getting rough and there was a great storm on the sea. The boat was being swamped by the waves. Squalls are a common occurrence on the Sea of Galilee. Some may think that having Christ with them they should have very favorable sailing winds. But the storm and their deliverance was for their sake to provide confirmation to them of his glory.
v.25 They woke up Jesus shouting “save us, Lord.” Where is their faith? This storm coming right after Jesus said “let the dead bury their own dead” may have shaken them a bit.
v.26 Jesus said “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” He rebuked the wind and sea and there was a great calm.
v.27 The disciples were (rightly) amazed at his authority over even wind and sea. The answer to their rhetorical question (who is this then?) is of course that Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus heals two men with demons.
For parallels see Mk 5:1-21 and Lk 8:26-40.
v.28 They arrived at the other side of the lake in the region of the Gadarenes. They were approached by two fierce demon-possessed men. “Were fierce, we’re demon possessed, and we’re in your face.” Satan robs a man of his sanity and self-control.
v.29 They recognize Jesus as the Son of God. They also are factually correct that they will be tormented at the appointed time.
v.30-32 The demons beg to be sent into a herd of pigs if they are to be cast out of the men. Jesus grants permission and they leave the men and enter the herd of pigs rushing down a steep bank into the sea where the pigs perish. This is also a factually correct figure of where they are going – into the lake of fire.
v.33-34 The herdsmen flee to the town and tell all the people about the exorcism and what had happened to the pigs (perhaps a source of their food?). The people came out and requested that Jesus leave their region. So he did (9:1).

Read Matthew 8:23-34

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