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Matthew 8:23-34

Jesus Our Deliverer

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • September 9, 2018

We are going to look at the remainder of Matthew 8 and discover that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is our Deliverer! Along the way, we will glean insights about His authority over the natural and spiritual realms so that when tribulation strikes, we may have peace in Him.

  • Sermon Notes

Jesus Our Deliverer

Matthew 8:23-34

ILLUS – Divine intervention on Snoqualmie Pass

1.Whether you see a storm looming in the distance or you are suddenly blindsided by an unexpected turn of events, the reality is, in life we will encounter trials.

2.In John 16:33, Jesus declared that, “In the world you have tribulation.” Now, one doesn’t need a degree in rocket science to know that what Jesus said is true!

3.But there is great news! Jesus did not stop there for He concluded His statement with a victorious declaration, “but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

4.Tonight, we are going to look at the remainder of Matthew 8 and discover that our Savior, Jesus Christ, is our Deliverer! Along the way, we will glean insights about His authority over the natural and spiritual realms so that when tribulation strikes, we may have peace in Him.

Matthew 8:23-34

Context

1.In Matthew 8, Jesus was in the northern end of the Sea of Galilee by His town of Capernaum.

2.He had just finished His Sermon on the Mount in which He told the people of Israel that to enter the kingdom of heaven, they must be transformed in the inner man, a transformation that happens when a person has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

3.After the Sermon on the Mount, we are told that the crowds were amazed by His teaching because “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes”. (7:29) 

4.The events that unfolded next, demonstrated Jesus’ power and authority. He had spoken as one having authority, now Jesus revealed His power and authority over all of creation in Matthew 8-9.

5.There are ten miracles recorded in these chapters, each with powerful applications for our lives. We will focus on the fourth and fifth this evening, one over nature and the other over the spiritual forces of darkness.

I. Jesus has Authority over Life’s Storms (23-27)

In verses 23-27, we have one of the most famous accounts which reveals Jesus authority over nature. 

Jesus commanded the disciples to get in the boat and cross the Sea of Galilee (18). 

They followed His orders, right in the middle of God’s will, yet a storm arose suddenly. In fact, this storm was so great that in the Greek it literally means “great earthquake” or “great turbulence”.  

Here, the disciples were given a lesson about the authority and power of Jesus.

A.  God has a purpose in the storms of life

1.Many people have a very simple view of the things that happen in their lives. If anything goes wrong, then they conclude that they must have done something wrong to deserve it.

2.Conversely, if anything good happens, they must have done something right. But the Bible helps us see that our heavenly Father has a greater purpose behind the storms that we face.

3.Storms can be terrible and bring horrendous devastation. We even name storms so that we can distinguish one terrible event form another.

ILLUS – Some names for hurricanes are very appropriate: Igor, Hugo, Gustav. But some other names just don’t seem appropriate: Lenny, Ophelia, or Fiona

4.To be in a storm at sea is frightening.

5.Here, we’re told that Jesus was asleep while the disciples were struggling to keep their boat afloat. In fact, they wondered how He could be sleeping at such a perilous time!

Mark 4:38, Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”

APPL – Many feel the same way when they go through storms, that God is asleep. Either He doesn’t take notice of what they’re going through or He simply doesn’t care.

Psalm 121:3-4, He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

APPL – So, what is God’s purpose in the storms of life?

The Bible reveals there are three kinds of storms.

Correcting Storms: God uses correcting storms to “correct” the course of our lives. Jonah ran from God’s purpose and calling so God sent a storm along with a big fish!

Protecting Storms: God uses protecting storms to keep us from stumbling into something that could be detrimental to our faith and witness in Christ. The Apostle Paul is an example of this. In 2 Corinthians 12, we’re told that Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him from exalting himself because of the revelations he had received.

Perfecting Storms: Matthew 8 is an example of a perfecting storm because the Lord allowed His disciples to go through a storm in order to increase their understanding of who Jesus is, which ultimately increased their faith and gave them peace.

James 1:2-3, Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

B. God promises to be with us in the storm

1.Storms will impact all of us. God wants us to learn to walk by faith and not by our feelings.

2.We can’t decide when storms will begin or when they will end. But we can decide how we will respond when they strike.

APPL – The question is, “Will I trust God and walk by faith during the storm?

Hebrews 10:38, But my righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 11:1-2, 6, Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval… And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

  • God promises to be with us in the storm, that is our hope. 

Isaiah 43:1-3, Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior

  • I find much more hope in that than anything the world has to offer!
  • I prefer the hope that God gives.

Oswald Chambers, “Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in the fiery furnace.”

ILLUS – Contrast the Apostle Peter of Matthew 8 with the Apostle Peter of Acts 12.

1 Peter 5:6-7, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

II. Spiritual Warfare is Real (28-34)

  • As we turn to verses 28-34, it is important to point out several things.
  • First, there is a spiritual battle for the souls of men. Some believe that what is described in the Gospels does not happen today. But demonic influence in the last days is clearly stated in the Bible.

1 Timothy 4:1, But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.

  • Second, there are some who misunderstand the nature of spiritual warfare and blame Satan for everything. 

ILLUS – My experience at a church that blamed all problems on demons

  • There are even those who blame Satan for their sin. But when people quote the comedian, Flip Wilson, and say, “The devil made me do it” they fail to take personal responsibility for their choices.

James 1:14-16, But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

  • Finally, there are those who believe that the forces of good and evil are equal in power. They imagine some kind of Star Wars concept of the dark side that is equal or even greater in strength.
  • Yet, the Bible paints a different picture. 

A. Jesus has authority over the forces of evil

1.When we see the degree of control that the demons had over these men, we must understand that Satan does have a degree of power and authority.

2.Matthew, Mark, and Luke record this event and state that these men could not be controlled, even with chains. They were fierce and were forced to live among the dead, in the caves of the tombs.

3.The demons had subjugated the personalities of the men so that they had no self-control. The Bible speaks of Satan’s influence and power in this world.

2 Corinthians 4:4, … in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Ephesians 2:2, … you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

4.These men were so violent that no one could pass by that road. Yet Jesus and His disciples landed the boat immediately in that vicinity.

5.Jesus was unmoved and unafraid. Instead, the demons were afraid of Him. From their words, we gain insight into what they knew about Jesus. (29-31)

a.They knew who He is, the Son of God.

b.They knew He had authority over them for they asked to be cast into the herd of swine. (31)

c.They knew their destiny, that a final judgment was in their future. (29)

APPL – The key to our victory over Satan and his minions is our confidence in the authority of Jesus over the darkness. We know that Satan is a liar, the father of lies, therefore, it is God’s truth that sets us free.

John 8:31-32, If you continue in My word… You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.

  • What we need to know with all certainty is that Jesus has authority over the demonic realm and that He is the “strong man” in the life of a believer.

ILLUS – Writing a term paper on whether or not Christian can be demon possessed.

  • Not only is there no biblical evidence for a Christian being demonically possessed, Jesus explained the reason why…

Luke 11:21-22, When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder.

  • This is the principle by which Jesus Christ overpowers Satan and removes demons from those who are possessed. Once a person then asks Jesus to be their Savior, He becomes the strongman in each of us.

     

1 Corinthians 3:16, Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

B. Jesus went through the storm to defeat Satan

1. What can get lost in this account is the fact that Matthew 8:23-27 precedes it.

2. Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee knowing that a storm would threaten His safety and the safety of those entrusted to His care.

3. He also knew that the people in the surrounding Gentile region would reject Him because they were more concerned about 2,000 hogs than two demon-possessed men, but that did not deter Him.

4.Jesus endured the storm for two demon-possessed men, men tormented in this life and destined for an eternity of judgment. Why?

Luke 15:1-7, Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So He told them this parable, saying, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

APPL – Here we see God’s heart for the lost. Jesus endured the storms of Satan’s temptations, Israel’s rejection, and the torture and crucifixion at Calvary for us, that we might be freed from the grip of Satan and experience the forgiveness of sin, the newness of life, and the gift of an eternity with Him.

 

Conclusion

John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

 

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