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Jesus, Storms, and Demons

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2021 7:00 am

Jesus, Storms, and Demons

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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February 26, 2021 7:00 am

Dr. Boice teaches from Matthew’s account of Jesus calming the stormy sea. The story is a perfect depiction of the Incarnation Jesus as fully God and fully man. Exhausted and sleeping one minute and controlling the forces of nature the next, Jesus takes the staring role in this miracle account that sounds like a scene right out of an action movie!

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On this broadcast of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce teaches from Matthew's account of Jesus calling the stormy sea story is a perfect depiction of the incarnation. Jesus says fully God and fully man exhausted and sleeping one minute and controlling the forces of nature in the next Jesus takes the starring role in this miracle account. It sounds like a scene right out of an action movie welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly today will discover that the disciples had enough faith to follow Jesus when he called them, but not necessarily enough to trust that he would save them from a stormy sea when the storms of life rise around us. We put our faith and hope in the God who can perform miracles while money people are amazed anymore by anything that used to be that way. The Middle Ages people are amazed by power, wealth by pageantry, more modern times and even up to our own time, people were amazed by scientific discoveries. I stood in awe discoveries.

The prolonged life speed which people were able to travel because of cars and trains and airplanes use of telephone communications television board amazed the ability of man to land people on the moon been amazed at computers speed at which they operate how we can communicate by email, all the way across the world in just seconds, and around the world. But people aren't much amazed by anything anymore because these discoveries have come so rapidly, one upon the other, and because they've been disseminated so quickly throughout the world that which is amazing. Just ceases to amaze.

Much of science is true Christianity most amazing thing about Christianity's greatest report about amazing Grace is JI Packer wrote in one of his book some years ago. Amazing Grace isn't amazing anymore become boring rations that I get this one thing that really does continue to amaze people if they give it a chance the person of Jesus Christ. Reason for that. Of course, is that is infinitely engaging because he is God.

He never exhausts our interest rate some time ago that the two people about whom more books submit written the entire history of the world.

The French Gen. Napoleon the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln that's not entirely true. More books have been written about Jesus Christ the body. When these two great men first books written about him of the Gospels Matthew Mark Luke John and the Bible that contains only 66 books for whole books are nothing but the life and times of Jesus Christ. Since that time, hundreds and thousands and then hundreds thousands of books have been written about Jesus as a matter fact I'm writing one myself as I do this exposition of Matthew's gospel. Most people don't want to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the Savior is a matter of fact, they rebel against that because I want to maintain control over their own lives.

Somehow, in spite of all that most people can't quite banish Jesus from their mind and so matter who he is and what he is done, remains a current question what was the question for the disciples to and the first of the two miracle stories that will be looking at here as we come to the end of the eighth chapter of Matthew we find them expressing their amazement as authority. I let amazement and probably been growing for some time we go back to the sermon on the mount. We find that after Jesus had given his teaching the people that were present expressed their amazement and says the crowds were amazed at his teachings because he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of all adverse speaking only of the crowds with the disciples were there to. They were among them. And so the disciples must've been amazed as well. Amazed at his words when he began to do miracles began to heal people and their amazement grow first little set of miracle stories. She heals a leper on who is utterly unclean and heals the servant of the Roman centurion, a dozen from a distance, he doesn't have to go to them and touch them in any heals Peter's mother-in-law who is in bed with a fever, probably dying from fever here to more miracle stories the first of these, the disciples are on the boat crossing the Sea of Galilee, a storm comes up the dangerous condition they think they're going to drown my weight Jesus often he stills storm quieting the wind and the waves and in the second story activate across the sea of Galilee. They find themselves in the land of the Gadarenes into wild men possessed by evil spirits come out of the graveyard. Jesus drives the evil spirits out of the two men at the end of the first of those two stories from the disciples are still in the boat and Jesus is called the wind and the waves they express their personal amazement for the first time. The text says what kind of a man is this even the winds and the waves obey him. Story of Jesus calming the waves is much more than marrying the miracle intended to impress the disciples is also about discipleship and faith. So when we begin to study it. We have to study for both of those conditions is a very interesting connection between the very first line of this miracle story and what we read about these two men who were would be disciples of the previous section is previous verses tell us about these people who wanted to be followers of Jesus Christ. But Jesus reminded the first man that he, Jesus and his disciples didn't have any place to lay their heads that is I did not any home of their own and presumably would understand that man decided he didn't want to pay that price. And he didn't follow. Then there was a man who was attracted by Jesus. If I do follow them but he said I have to stay at home and for my father died so I can barium Jesus response to Batman was what the dead bury their dead. You want to be my disciple. You must follow Mimas do it now without its immediately after that the be read as a first line of the story. Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him certainly significant see a very short time that they didn't understand yet very much who it was that they were following the didn't have very much faith certainly wasn't strong but they were following. And yes, as a matter of fact they had actually left there homes of their occupations with their families in order to follow after Jesus Christ reread about some of them earlier first ones that were mentioned were Peter and Andrew. It's as they left their nets and followed him. In chapter 4 and then James and John left their boat and their father and followed him. It has to do with their occupations as well as their family and then in chapter 9 we read that Matthew left his tax collector's booth and followed him. So we left his income as well. That was a great deal more to following Jesus Christ was going to come they were going to find more about it all the time but it is called and they had abated and responded and they were on the way we would use the words of the sermon on the mount, we might say that they had passed through that narrow gate and they were on that narrow path that leads to eternal life with Jesus Christ so that braces question right at the beginning of the story before we even look at the details of the question is this. Are you on that you yourself are you following Jesus Christ is to be impressed with Jesus Christ, but enough to stand there as people did when Jesus preached that first great sermon on the mount and be amazed at his teaching, saying oh yes, these are really impressive words I've ever read anything quite like this anywhere else, or even to be impressed with his miracles real issue is are you following Jesus Christ.

Faith may be small but are you actually following them. If you're not, you're not a Christian, known as a Christian who doesn't follow.

Now it leads us to this matter of faith, which is what the story begins to talk about the disciples had some faith they wouldn't of been following Jesus all they didn't was very weak and it had to become strong. The story itself is told in each of the synoptic Gospels we have it here in this eighth chapter of Matthew, but it's also in Mark four, and in Luke H. Story goes like this, Jesus was being pressed by the crowds who wanted more of his miracles, and they did is teaching and so he got into boat to escape the pressure for a short amount of time and gave his disciples instructions to pass over the Sea of Galilee, to the other side, Galilee is in a very big like it's about 13 miles long, from North to South about 8 miles in width east to west, but it's distinguishing feature is that it 680 feet below sea level and is surrounded by rather high mountains and it's a characteristic of the climate for winds to sweep down out of those mountains through the gullies from time to time and churn up the waters of the lake putting them in the quite a torrent. This is what happened when moment is they were going across the lake. Everything was called the next moment, the winds would come up and the waves were raging and the experienced seem in these disciples were sure that they were going to drown out where was Jesus. Jesus was sleep start resting on the cushion.

Mark mentions that a little detail that he remembers Matthew doesn't say the cushion their piece of the sort of resting on an obviously exhausted from his earlier teaching and is the take explains why he had to escape the clamor of the crowds, but it didn't matter, tired or not they were in trouble and so they woke him up cryonics teacher.

Don't you care if we drown did of course we did wake up. He did speak to the wind and the waves in the did calm down now.

It was right that the discipleship turned to them in their trouble.

So should we. We get in trouble. We should always turn to Jesus Christ. The problem here wasn't what they did.

It was faith was so small.

Which is why he rebuked them for it.

They should've known that he would take care of them regardless of like ourselves. I got into trouble. They really didn't trust them very much. One of our songwriters wrote that couplet that goes like this, no water can swallow the ship there lies the master of ocean earth and skies.

Of course, but it's one thing to believe it with your hand. Another thing to live it out. The storm is raging. Tracy Ryle often writes very wisely, and at this point. He says how many have faith and love enough to forsake everything for Christ's sake and to follow him wherever he goes and get there full of fear in the hour of trial.

Many of grace enough to turn to Jesus and every trouble trying Lord save us, and yet not grace enough to lie still and believe that in the darkest hour everything will be well well teaches us about faith also teaches us about Jesus because after all, the story isn't just about faith or discipleship about Jesus and who Jesus is. Faith is to be worth anything it has to be centered in Jesus Christ this were a mere man may have had faith in him and in turn to him and said to him T-shirt don't you mind if we perish, and he got up, they were mere man wouldn't of done any good to have faith in them, they would've perished. This is about Jesus Christ and his power.

We've already witnessed an example of great faith in all of the Roman centurion came to Jesus and ask help on behalf of the sick servant, he said to Jesus that you don't even have to come in to my house to speak the word. It will be done via great faith. The disciples had weak faith, but the matter isn't so much stronger faith is a week.

It may be, it's in whom it centered what they're stilling of the water shows of courses that Jesus Christ is God the disciples didn't understand that very well at the time back.

They're not going to confess it until the 16th chapter, that's what the issue is, after all, it's nothing but a man to teach. We can stand amazed at his teaching, but when one comes upon the winds and waves sets the power goes beyond mere human ability William Hendrix that much that is wrong on earth could be corrected but it takes deity to change the weather know when God was interrogating Job in the 38th chapter of that great book, God called attention to his ability to do that as something that should have put Job in all of his sovereignty and wisdom God asked the question who shut up the sea, behind doors when it burst forth from the womb. I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness when I fixed limits for it and sent it stores and bars in place. When I said thus far you make, no further.

Here is where your proud waves halt answer is God alone is able to do that and when Jesus calms the storm he's demonstrating nothing less than divine power.

So I'm saying is that the story really is about Christ. Jesus is not merely about the faith of the disciples of their lack of it is a revealing story.

One moment Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat, utterly exhausted.

Nothing would speak more clearly of his humanity was a man just as we are subject to all the sufferings and fatigue that we are subject to the next moment he rises and he stills away. This demonstrates the power only God has so no wonder the disciples stood in awe, I would must've been a subdued bunch of men who continued rolling on that silent sleep because it wasn't only storm wind and the waves. Everything was glassy, calm.

I can imagine very quietly now in law, they began to roll across the other side to this area of the Gadarenes was a border town and it was mostly Gentile.

We know that historically, but we also know it because of the story because the people Pigs and Jews were allowed to keep pigs quite obviously a Gentile area. We know what they were thinking as they arrived at the shore because it was the question that they had been raising early on. They were saying what kind of man is less. It's fascinating is to keep that in mind, that as soon as they get to the land of the Gadarenes Gentile territory far side of the city at least two wild demon possessed man him out of the tombs, or question is answered in its answered by the demons were saying what kind of a man is this demons come out of the tomb to tell them they say Jesus. What do you want with us son of God.

Have you come to torturous before our time in Mark and Luke and in their version of the story that they also called him son of the most high God. Luke adds to it. They begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the abyss that is to send them to hell before their time is worth reflecting just a little bit on what the demons understood about Jesus Christ and weren't afraid to announce because people today are unwilling or simply don't know about it. A number of things emerge. First of all, the demons were aware that Jesus is the son of God. I said the disciples were only beginning to get a glimpse of this truth doesn't come clear until the 16th chapter of Matthew where Jesus states the question to Peter who do you say I am Peter less guided by the Holy Spirit gives a right answer. You're the Christ, the son of God. That's the turning point in the gospel. That's really actually come to realize who they are.

The so the disciples are still growing in their knowledge of who he is. At this point, but the demons know they're not afraid to say so.

James wrote in one place. The demons believe in God and shudder.

But here the demons go even beyond that statement because not only did they believe in God, they believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God and yes they do shudder.

Let's first thing secondly the demons recognize that there is a final judgment and that they will suffer torment when the time comes.

It's amazing how blind human beings are at this point we live in a wicked world and we are wicked people. We are front God at every turn. And yet we continue to think well of ourselves and assume that there is no such thing as a judgment. People today when they think about judgment assume either that there will be no judgment or secondly if there is that we spare the judgment or three that there without any serious shortcomings in God's sight. For if they are to be blamed for anything. God will be too kind to judge them for rent or five if there is a judgment they are sent to a place of judgment to place their center will be pleasant to spending some quality time with old friends, but the demons don't operate under any such allusions.

They know there's a hell they know they're going to be sent there at the judgment in this story there greatest fear is that they'll be sent there too soon to be sent in pigs, pigs perish actually be judged in hell. And then there's the third thing, but only that they recognize that Jesus is the son of God. Note only do they acknowledge that there's a hell and that they're going to suffer there one day they recognize that Jesus has authority to dispose of them as he wishes is a people don't acknowledge that it has to do with the sovereignty of God. People want to acknowledge God's in charge of things we like to think were in charge of things ourselves. We are in control of the ways you sell merchandise today. Tell people that if they buy this particular car that be in control be no boundaries or rules you do anything you want. You just by this particular product, but God is in control of the Bible tells us is to acknowledge that early and bow before Jesus the King of Kings, lest we be consumed in the way to find it in the Old Testament. The second Psalm says kiss the son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him. While the demons didn't do that. Of course they didn't kiss the son, and submission didn't take refuge in his sacrifice percent, but we can and we must were going to escape the final judgment. So here's another question for you.

Not only following Jesus Christ but had you done it you bowed before Jesus Christ and taken refuge in him.

Are you trusting in his death, on your behalf so that you might escape the judgment that we don't know a lot about demons only what the Bible tells us about them. It doesn't tell us a great deal tells us something here there spirit beings. For one thing, tells us that they fear a disembodied state by has to be sent into the pigs and Jesus did so, they rushed on the lake and they all perished, I suppose, although I don't think is very germane to the story but I suppose you ought to ask why Jesus allow that to happen because it's in a lot of people's minds of people of suggested that he was pretty insensitive.

These poor Gentiles when they allow their livelihood to perish in that way.

The actually care on people trying to justify. Jesus said well they they probably were Gentiles.

They were probably Jews and they shouldn't be keeping things in the first place. And so I worked it out all the pigs got destroyed.

Serves him right raising pigs that I don't think has anything to do with it at all.

I think the answer is the same reason why Jesus healed the paralyzed man in the previous section of the chapter did he do that while the question was raised. He said that paralyzed man, your sins are forgiven and I said who can forgive sins but God and then he put the two together is that is it easier to say your sins be forgiven, or take up your pallet rise and walk, but in order that you might know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins because demand a raise because you can say I forgive your sins and nobody is aware whether that's happened or not. But when you got somebody's paralyzed raise up everybody can see that happen that improves the other.

I think here you have a similar situation. This story, the destruction of the pigs showed that the demons really have left the demon possessed man so that healing was complete. These men were whole, and there was no question of these evil spirits returning to trouble men would been delivered again.

Now let's wrap this up a little bit.

All this is actually about who Jesus Christ is about faith in Jesus Christ about salvation by discipleship and the stories tell us something about ourselves or just take that story about the demon possessed man with not been possessed by evil spirits. And that same sense, of course, but we are possessed by an evil spirit of sin; our own sinful nature and you and I are unable to get rid of it. Nothing you and I can do can provide the kind of healing we need the cleansing that is necessarily ever going to have a forgiveness of sins, and stand before God Almighty at the time of the final judgment we can do anything to help ourselves. But Jesus can do it and he does interesting in the story that he comes uninvited demon possessed man didn't say come over and help us but we need some help your week that is evil spirit that we can get rid of.

Ready to have him leave the country just like the people were but Jesus came anyway, and he healed them. That's way it is with us. Salvation comes when Jesus addresses the evil spirit of sin within us brings us to faith in him by imparting a new nature and leaves us sitting there quietly dressed in our right minds so we learn something about ourselves, the people of God are where this took place. This is the sad part of the story instead of responding to Jesus as we might've expected them to do, ask them this day spend time with them, teach them what we read is that they pleaded with them to leave their region in the stone Amber Lynch in which shows that they were afraid of his power. After all, able to show his power even over the demons that were going to mess around with that but I didn't welcome them either. Obviously they preferred pigs to healthy people. So Jesus left that Matthew tells us something here that neither Mark or Luke record and it certainly is significant.

He left the man they would been delivered to be witnesses to their countrymen in his words were these go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you that's in markdown and Matthew. That's what they did and again what were told in Mark is at the people were amazed. But many people are amazed today by anything, even Jesus Christ.

But isn't the reason because I don't actually know about Jesus Christ know Jesus Christ is to be amazed by Jesus Christ is the reason why they don't know about Jesus Christ is of those will been healed of the evil spirit of sin are not really telling them about his prior father, we thank you for the stories they tell us about Christ, faith, discipleship, and all those things, but mostly the insight they give us about ourselves and what is happened if we've actually come to Christ.

When our obligation is which is to tell others about him grant that we might do that this year ahead of us. Now might be one, which many people come to know about Jesus Christ because those who do know him been saved by him and delivered from sin are faithful in their testimony branches is you are listening to Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

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