In today's study from Matthew 8:18-27, we see the requirements of discipleship.
No Pattern for Healing
The final thing that I want us to notice is that there is no pattern for getting healed. One asked (v.2), one told (v.6), one said nothing (v.14), and the multitude just came (v.16). He touched two (v.3, 15) but didn’t even see one of them (v.8). In only one of them faith is mentioned (v.10). The healings were immediate, v.3, 13, and 15. He healed them all with no misfires, v. 16. He healed them with his word, v. 8, 16 — didn’t require some magical motion or touch.
Healing Comes the Way God Chooses
The bottom line is that healing comes as God chooses and not us.
- He may heal us with medicine.
1 Tim 5:23 “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”
Is. 38:21 “For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.”
- He may heal us without medicine.
Acts 3:7 “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”
- He may choose to leave you sick.
2 Tim 4:20 “Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.”
2Co 12:7-8 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
- We will all be healed someday.
Phil 3:21 “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
Requirements of Discipleship
vv.18-27 And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. (20) And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (21) And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. (22) But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. (23) And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. (24) And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. (25) And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. (26) And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. (27) But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
In this passage, the Lord shows us what may be required in discipleship.
Separation from Home (vv.19-20)
Jesus had to leave heaven to come down here to save us, and that meant giving up everything.
2 Cor 8:9 “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
When God called Abraham, he told him to leave home and Abraham wasn’t even sure where he was going.
Heb 11:8 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
Change in Priorities (vv.21-22)
This would-be disciple wanted to put his priorities ahead of the Lord’s.
Jesus made this change in priorities known in Mark.
Mark 8:34-35 “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (35) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.
It’s been said, “Your cross is where the Lord’s will crosses your will.”
Exposure to Peril (vv.23-24)
These were fishermen and yet this was a storm unlike anything they had experienced. They actually thought they were going to die. For a fisherman to think that he was going to die, it had to be pretty bad. The bottom line is that following Jesus can be dangerous!
2 Cor. 1:8-9 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. (9) Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,
Paul suffered tremendously at the hands of the very people that he was trying to minister to.
2Co 11:24-27 “From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. (25) Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; (26) in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; (27) in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness”
God is in Control
What we have to understand and know is that no matter how bad it gets, God is in total control. As a matter of fact, he rebuked them for forgetting this. Listen guys, if Jesus is in the boat with you, you have no reason to fear and every reason to have faith!
Complete Dependence upon Jesus (v.25)
Notice how they had no choice but to depend on Jesus. They had no more solutions. Peter figured that out when he began to sink.
Mat 14:30 “But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
Faith in Fearful Circumstances (v.26)
The Lord allows his disciples to go through fearful circumstances to strengthen their faith.
Rom 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."
Definition of Fear
Fear is the absence of faith.
Definition of Faith
Faith is the absence of fear.
Psa 56:11 “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”