See, Understand, Respond.
If you don’t see correctly, or understand correctly what you see, it is very difficult to make a correct response. Indeed, someone could easily make a catastrophic response if they fail to see or understand accurately. In Matthew 8:23-9:13 Jesus wants us to see accurately who He is, so that we can understand fully the implications of who He is, so that we can respond appropriately.
Jesus does 5 extraordinary things in these 4 short passages which show who He is. We see that Jesus:
- Calmed the storm
- Cast out demons
- Forgave sins
- Healed paralytic
- Called sinners to follow him
What do these 4 stories have in common?
At least the first 3 are miracle stories; calming the storm, casting our demons and healing the paralytic. Maybe even the 4th is a miracle story – Jesus calls a man way from the pursuit of financial gain, and he follows (Mt 9:4)!
“Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Matthew got up and followed Jesus.
Jesus is shown to be the one who can “save us!” So, understanding who He is means we need not fear (Mt 8:26).
Jesus replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Jesus also shows that He can meet our greatest need, the forgiveness of our sins (Mt 9:6-7)
But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralysed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home.
Through these stories Jesus allows us to see clearly who He is, and allows us to understand the implications of that. These leaves the critical “response” issue open. How will I, in the light of seeing and understanding who Jesus is, respond to Him?