Gospels in a Year

Today’s Reading: Matthew 8:14-27

14 And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever; 15 he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served him. 16 That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”

18 Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

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 he 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 men of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Today’s Commentary:

Matthew 8:23-27 – Here Jesus reveals his divine authority over creation. See note on Mt 8:27. Jesus’ stilling of the storm parallels the experience of Jonah in the OT (Jon 1:1-16).

(1) Both set sail on a boat (8:23; Jon 1:3);

(2) both are caught in a storm on the sea (8:24; Jon 1:4, 11);

(3) both are found asleep (8:24; Jon 1:5);

(4) both are accompanied by frightened sailors (8:24-26; Jon 1:5);

(5) both groups of sailors call upon the Lord for deliverance (8:25; Jon 1:14);

(6) both are instrumental in bringing about a great calm (8:26; Jon 1:12,15);

(7) and the sailors in both episodes marveled at the outcome (8:27; Jon 1:16).

Jesus’ identity as a new Jonah is mentioned elsewhere, in 12:39-41 and 16:4. See note on Mk 4:35-41.