Sermon Notes

Jesus is LORD!


  • This is the word of the Lord,
    Matthew 8:23-27 – 23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but ghe was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marvelled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
  • Here, on the morning of Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday as some prefer to call it, we gather alongside thousands of other churches from around the world, to remember and rejoice the day that death died. For, that is what Jesus did when He rose from the grave. The resurrection, beloved, is the defeat of death.
    • To think of this reality is more than appropriate considering our times. When death and the fear of death take the central stage of world concerns, rampaging on from nation to nation, we hold in our faith and our hope, the true defeat of death.
    • For we who belong to Jesus, have been give the rite of passage from darkness to light. We too are heirs, chosen to be resurrected. Death has no hold over us, and the fear of death has no place in our homes.
  • And by providence, the Holy Spirit of God has led us today to the famous passage of Jesus calming the storm.
    I have heard many preachers preach on this passage, each one drawing out profound insights from this text. And sometimes, as a preacher, you tend to think wrongly, “What more can be said about such a passage?”. That is a wrong way of thinking because the point of preaching any passage is not to be the first one to find unique insights, but to be faithful to preach the text clearly for what it says.
  • This passage serves as a wonderful symbol for many aspects of the Christian life. Some use it to talk about how Jesus is able to calm every storm of our lives. Some use it to talk about the sacrifice of Christ, or the holiness of Christ. 
 However, I today want to take a plain historical approach to this event.Therefore, my prayer is that the Spirit would use this text again, to all our benefit as we see the power of Jesus Christ, the LORD.
  • v23 – And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.
    • Beloved, we must understand the nature of the one who enters the boat, and the nature of those who followed him in.
      •  You see, the master of the house is the most important person in the house. His servants are subject to him, his family is subject to him, and all that he has (the reach of his dominion) are subject to him.
        We see this in Jesus’ parables whenever He talks about the authority of the Master,

        • In the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35, the Master has mercy on his servant who is unable to pay his debt. But when the servant refuses to extend the same grace to his fellow servant, the Master’s wrath burned against him. His life was subject to His Master.
        • In the parable of the faithful and wicked servant in Matthew 24:45-51, the servant is put in charge by the Master to distribute food to his fellow servants at the proper time. If when the Master returns, He finds him faithful, He will reward him with greater responsibilities. But if He finds him unfaithful, His wrath would burn against his servant.
        • In Matthew 25:14-30, the servants who received their talents from the Master were subject to Him in their use of these talents.
        • The wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, were all subject to the coming bridegroom, their Lord and Master.
        • The tenants in Matthew 21:33-45, who rented the vineyard were subject to the Master who sent servants to collect His fruit. Yet beat, killed, stoned, and even murdered His son. So He came out against them in His wrath and brought these wretches to a wretched end.
        • The labourers in the vineyard, the branches on the vine, the guests at the wedding feast, the lost sheep, the lamp, the prodigal son and his self- righteous brother; all of them are subject to the Master of the parable.
      • If we meet someone who has authority over us, our very posture and conduct changes. And greater the authority, greater our submission.
        So, know this beloved. There is no greater authority than the One who stepped into this boat.
      • For this Master was not simply bestowed this authority over all things through an exchange of ownership. For, all things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3).
        He is the Creator God.Beloved, all the hosts of heaven, of earth, sea and sky, are all servants to this great and terrible Master, whose love never ceases to those who are His own, and His justice never fails to punish the wicked. His glory is magnified in the salvation of the vessels made for mercy and the destruction of the vessels made for wrath.
      • When Moses dared to ask God His Name, out of the burning bush the Lord responded, “I AM WHO I AM”… “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)
        • For centuries the Jewish people feared to even utter that name.
      • And then came the day the earth stood still. The day that the men of this world were oblivious to the cries of baby laying in the manger.
        • When His feet fell upon the dust of this earth, what men did not recognise, all else of earth and heaven saw.
          For when Jesus walked among us, God the Creator and Lord of this world walked among us.
        • When men questioned His authority, He responded, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58)

          The words for I AM that Jesus uses here are the same words found in the greek translation of the OT that most of the people used in his time, called the Septuagint.
      • Brothers and sisters, we must understand the profoundness of this reality, the context of who this man is, if we are to understand the miracle of the passage before us today.
    •  His disciples, on the other hand, that followed Him, were oblivious to the magnitude of this reality.
      And when the crowds grew, Jesus gave orders to go over to the other side (Matthew 8:18) for He knew the superficiality of their profession of faith.When moments ago a couple of them voiced what seems to be the popular sentiment amongst them in willing to follow Jesus anywhere, of their faithfulness, they would soon find their faith failing as they feared for their lives.

      • You see, the men who followed Yahweh into the boat, from the slightly curious to the emphatically committed, were all to some degree veiled from seeing the glory of the one amongst them. And this is the sin of man.When man first opened his eyes in history, his eyes were flooded the most beautiful sight that can ever be seen, the face of his God who breathed life into him. He life was full with all that God gave Him; his wife, his animals and his garden.But when his eyes turned to another and he sinned against God, the heritage of men became the corruption of sin. For in turning our eyes away from God, the natural man can no longer see the glory of God.
      • That even after spending the entirety of the previous day watching Jesus perform incredible miracles of healings and freeing the demon possessed, the disciples could not believe in the middle of the storm.
      • This is the vivid reality of the Christian life for many people. For we rush to follow Jesus onto the boat, often ignorant or forgetful of the magnitude of the One whom we follow.
  • v24 – 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves;
    • The use of the word ‘behold’ suggests that the storm was not anticipated. The Sea of Galilee which they had to cross was around 8 miles wide (around 13 km). So rowing their way to the other side would take some time, and the boats they used were most likely small fishing boats commonly used by fishermen during that time.
    • The storm on the sea was great. The boat was being swamped by the waves. High winds, and an ocean in turmoil, and boats with a lot of fishermen were panicking. Not even the men of the sea were able to face the storm.
    • See here, beloved, the nature of the sea and the wind. For once upon a time, these were made as obedient servants to man. The sea was home to the fish and the skies were home to the birds, and man was commanded to subdue it all, and have dominion over them all (Genesis 1:28).
      • Genesis 2:4-64 These are the generations

        of the heavens and the earth when they were created,

        in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

        5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the
        land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground
      •  The ocean wasn’t meant to be terrible, and the winds weren’t meant to be menacing. They were made to provide and assist man in all his work. 
 Listen to Paul talk about the glory of the time to come when God would restore this world in Romans 8:19-22,

        19 For the creation waits with eager longing for othe revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
      • Do you see beloved that there was a time when God, man, and the elements of this earth were together in a glorious display of beauty?
        • When God would walk among the trees in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).
        • When the wind would guide a mist to water the land, to blow gently upon the face of man.
        • When the sea and the earth provided for all living things upon the planet.
        • When man lived in dominion over all these things, and walked with God and saw His face.
      • Now, look at the scene where the disciples find themselves. In war with the water and the wind. For in the fall of man, the wind became an instrument of judgment in God’s hands as He used it to bring locusts, break pillars and bring down houses, carry storms, and break against the lives of men. The oceans shook, and the waters roared and foamed, as they destroyed all the earth in the greatest flood ever seen.How many men, women and children have lost their lives to this war?
      • Yet, in the terrible tragedy of this conflict of centuries, hope had never died. For God had not abandoned us. Hear the words of the psalmist who speaks in the midst of this war,
        Psalm 46: v1-3God is our refuge and strength,

        a very present help in trouble.

        2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,

        though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

        3 though its waters roar and foam,
        though the mountains tremble at its swelling.

        v5-75 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
 God will help her when morning dawns.

        6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;

        he utters his voice, the earth melts.

        7 The LORD of hosts is with us;

        the God of Jacob is our fortress.

        v10-1110 “Be still, and know that I am God.

        I will be exalted among the nations,

        I will be exalted in the earth!”

        11 The LORD of hosts is with us;

        the God of Jacob is our fortress.

      • So, here is a terrible storm and their boats are being swamped by the waves of the ocean, and who is in their midst?
  • v24 – but [Jesus] was asleep.
    • The God, the I AM, their refuge and strength, was asleep in their boat.
    • We can presume that this incident was happening sometime late into the night because Jesus was healing all the sick who were brought to him that day, and was so tired to the point that not even a storm lashing against the boat, and waters drenching Him, could wake Him.
    • Witness here the mystery and miracle of the divinity of Christ who is truly God and truly man. That when Christ in His divine nature is responsible for the storm, Christ in His human nature lay asleep in the boat oblivious of the storm.
    • Listen to Charles Spurgeon who said, here is the weakness of humanity; and here is also the strength of faith. Jesus went to sleep because that boat was in his Father’s hands, and he would take care of it. “He was asleep.” Sometimes, the best thing that we can do is to go to bed. You are worrying and troubling yourself, and you can do nothing; go to sleep, brother. It is the climax of faith to be able to shake off all care, and to feel, “If the Lord careth for me, why should I not sleep?
    • Now, what should be the response of the disciples in the boat. Disciples who know very well what Psalm 46 says. If they knew who it was who lay asleep in their boat, what should they be doing?
  • v25 – And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”
    • As R.C Sproul pointed out, when men run out of ideas in such situations, they rush to the leader of their group for solutions.
    • What they expected Jesus to do, we do not know but they definitely did not expect Him to do what He did. The following verses of disbelief makes that abundantly clear.
      So, it was a fool’s hope really, that they had. Something, if anything, to save their lives.
    • For that night, the disciples stood face to face with death, and they feared him. They feared perishing.
  • v26(a) – 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?
    • Hear the question of the Lord my friends – why are you afraid?
      Do you see how this question would be just insensitive if devoid of the context we covered up until now?May this question echo in all our hearts when the day comes for each of us, when we stand face to face with death – why are you afraid?
    • The problem with the disciples here is not the utter lack of faith but that their faith was too small. What they ought to have done is stood up and met the storm with boldness.For when the Holy Spirit filled the apostles in Acts 2 and empowered them for ministry, their faith increased. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; 7 by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
Now that is faith!
  • v26(b) – Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
    • And so the Master of this universe rose to His feet. His hands stretch upon a world in turmoil, and with a word He rebuked the winds and the sea. His voice broke through hurl and noise of the storm, a voice familiar to the earth, sea and skies. And at the sound of this voice, the winds stumbled upon their proud strides, and the waves dived into the ocean to hide itself from the King.
    • The was not just a calm, but a great calm. The great storm had now died to a great calm. The wind did not dare blow and sea did not dare stir. The Master had spoken, and they had obeyed Him.
  • v27 – 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
    • Again, as R.C Sproul pointed out, there was no category in the minds of the disciples for a man such as this, that even the winds and the sea obeyed Him.
      As some translations put it, the disciples became exceedingly afraid.
    • What sort of man is this? He is Jesus, the LORD! He is Yahweh, the Great I AM! He is the second person of the Triune God, through whom were all things made that were made. And He has come to restore and reclaim what is rightfully His.Here is Hope in flesh and blood, for Jesus came to redeem the world. To stretch His hand upon the calamity of this world brought about by the corruption of man’s sin, and bring a great calm never known to the world of men.


  • For this storm was only a prelude to the greatest threat to the human soul – the judgment of God. You see beloved, we are not saved because Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea. We are saved because the rebuke of Almighty God fell upon the One who chose to carry our sin.For as He rose up on the boat to bring great calm upon the ocean, He was raise upon a cross to bring the greatest calm upon the lives of the saints. For when the storm of God’s wrath burned against this Jesus, when the winds of His anger, and the waves of His judgment burst again His Son, no one calmed this storm. The tempest of God’s judgment swallowed up our Saviour and was satisfied in punishing Him in our stead.
  • But sin, and the powers of darkness, and death, could not win. For they have tried to kill the hope of man for generations. And the hour of their greatest victory they thought was when they killed the only one who could redeem this world.But they were wrong!
    Acts 2:24God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because mit was not possible for him to be held by it.

    Beloved, this time death had to flow backwards. For early Sabbath morning, just like Jesus said, He broke the curse of sin and death, and He rose up from the grave.

  • Behold the Son is Risen, and is seated at the right hand of the Father and all authority in heaven and on earth is give to Him, and God has set His name above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, every tongue confess, that Jesus is LORD!