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Matthew 8:23-34

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord’s Power over Nature and His Power over Demons

Matthew 8:23-34

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Lesson Number 20

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord Jesus has power over nature.
  2. The Lord Jesus has power over demons.

Practical Application

  1. How big is your faith?

Questions

  1. Give one or more arguments against the claim that the miracles of Jesus never took place.
  2. How was Jesus’ deity and humanity shown in this incident on the Sea of Galilee?
  3. Review some Old Testament miracles that showed God’s power over nature.
  4. How do you explain why Matthew’s account of this miracle speaks of two-demon possessed men, while Mark and Luke record only one?
  5. What should the second miracle in this account show us about God’s perspective on “animal rights”?

Answers

  1. Even the unbelieving critics of Jesus’ day did not deny His miracles.
  2. We see His humanity because He was tired, and fell asleep in the boat. He showed His deity by calming the storm.
  3. Parting of the Red Sea, sun standing still, rains withheld, etc.
  4. This is not a contradiction in the Bible! There were two demon possessed men, but Mark and Luke chose to focus on the more outspoken one.
  5. People are more important to the Lord than animals.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Recall the illustration involving Abraham Lincoln. Do you think we could convince people to believe he was a miracle worker with divine status? This is what critics claim has been done with Christ. People try to explain away his miracles, by arguing against the validity of the historical record. What about you? Do you accept Jesus as the Son of God, or do you try to explain Him away as just a “good man”?
  2. Saving faith is more than just believing the facts about Jesus. In this passage, the demons refer to Jesus as the Son of God. Compare this to James 2:19. Yet the demons are not saved! Saving faith is trust in Christ as your personal Savior. Have you believed the facts about Christ, but never trusted Him personally? Don’t be orthodox like the demons; believe in Christ today.

Challenge

  1. Although the Lord Jesus was with the disciples, they feared for their lives during the storm. They had no reason to fear, and Jesus chastised them for their lack of faith. If you are a believer in Christ, He has promised that He will always be with you (see Hebrews 13:5). You do not have to be afraid during the storms of life. Remember that the Lord is with you in the storm, and He can calm your troubled heart if you will call on Him.

Key Verses

  • “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Matthew 8:26
  • “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:27

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