Today Matthew shows four ways Jesus brings the kingdom to those who need it.
Storms of Life
The disciples were travelling across the sea of Galilee when a storm arose, swamping the boat and causing great panic. Jesus slept through it all – He had no fear. The storms of life can assail us and seek to knock our confidence away from the Lord. “O Ye of little faith!” says Jesus and calms the storm.
Jesus has power over natural events like the wind and sea and he has power over the storms of life too. Be confident that he has your back and he has you in his hand – Never will I leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
When they reach the other side, a Gentile area, they find a man fiercely demonised. Jesus casts them out into the pigs who drown themselves. Matthew makes more of the town’s reaction than Luke who tells us the man is now clothed and in his right mind.
Jesus has power over demons who seek to bind people up and steal abundant life.
In a little detail Jesus crosses the lake again in a boat – he takes time out from major spiritual encounters to refresh himself.
In the next town people bring a paralytic and Jesus sees their faith and heals the man, forgiving his sins. In the Gospels, someone has faith in God – the person praying, the person needing healing or their friends. Faith is the belief that God can do it and expectation that He wants to. Simple as that. It’s not about whipping ourselves up, its about trusting in God.
Levi was likely named by his parents who hoped he’d enter priestly service. Sadly he’d chosen to serve the world and was a tax-collector, co-opted into the corrupt Roman regime. No-one is too far from God’s saving power though. At Jesus’ call, he leaves his old lifestyle and follows Jesus. His first act as a follower of Christ is to hold a party to bring his new Christian mates together with his old life mates to see what else the Lord would do. The religious leaders hate that!
Thank the Lord he has power over the storms of life, the oppression of demons and that he can heal the sick and save sinners.