THE WEEK OF EPIPHANY IV – SUNDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 8:23-27
Why are you afraid, O men of little faith? Matthew 8:26
In what does the unbelief of the disciples consist? It sees no more than it feels! Life and safety are no longer in their feelings – there is nothing here but the waves crashing over the ship, and the sea which threatens all kinds of danger and death. While they feel all this, and concern themselves with it unremittingly, the terror, the trembling and the faint-heartedness do not abate. The more they pay attention to all this and feel it, the harder does death and fear drive them on and threaten to engulf them at every moment.
Unbelief cannot rid itself of such feelings, and it cannot think otherwise even for a moment. It has nothing at all to which it can cling for comfort. Unbelief can have no peace and quiet even for a moment. This is how things will be also in hell where there is nothing but sheer trembling and terror without end.
Had there been real faith among the disciples, they would have put the wind of the waves of the sea out of their minds. Instead of allowing the wind and the storm to claim all their attention, they would have remembered God’s might and grace pronounced in His Word. They would have put their trust in them as though they were on a firm rock in the midst of the moving waters, as though the sun was shining brightly and all was peace without any storm at all.
PRAYER: You know, O God, how often we are beset in this life by various trials and temptations. Strengthen our faith through your means of grace, that we may always emerge from these trials chastened and strengthened, for Christ’s sake. Amen.