Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 8:23-34
Jesus was born not only in a manger two thousand years ago but also in our hearts and in our lives today! That Jesus who was born is God! He is not just cute little baby! He can calms storms in our lives and cast out demons from our environments! However, we still have to come to know that reality through our own experiences.
After Jesus cured all the sick people who came to him and cast out demons from the possessed ones, people did not fully understand who Jesus was. Even the disciples did not acknowledge the divine nature of him. So, when a windstorm arose on the sea and the boat was being swamped by the waves, all the disciples were screaming and woke Jesus up who was asleep. They could not stay calm, saying, “Well, Jesus is with us and we are fine!” They said, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
Jesus said first to the disciples, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?”
Then he rebuked the winds and the sea. Then there was a dead calm.
This reminds us of God’s Creation. When God created the heaven and earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep. Then a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God brings order into chaos. God makes darkness go away. Formless void will be filled. Waters, which symbolize chaos, will be under control. In other words, Jesus is God who created the heavens and earth! So, why are you afraid? We are afraid of current troubles and hardships in our lives because we still do not know who Jesus really is!
After Jesus calmed the stormy sea, he arrived at the country of the Gadarenes. Two demoniacs came out of the tombs and met Jesus. They recognized Jesus, shouting, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Demons should be afraid of God! Before Jesus said one word, they begged Jesus, “If you cast us out, send us into the heard of swine.” Jesus commanded them to go into the swine and the whole heard rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. And the whole town came out to meet Jesus and begged him “to leave their neighborhood.” Why? They did not want to lose any more swine. Did they care for the lives of the swine? No! They thought that they lost money!
The town people value money more than the lives of the two fellow humans as well as the lives of swine. Jesus saved two humans and demons killed two thousands of swine. Most of the time, we cannot experience Jesus because we love money more than life. Some people are willing to trade their lives with money. I pray for those people! Even though our financial situation is bad, let us have confidence in God’s plan for us! God is with us to save us. Sometimes God’s plan may cost us big money but God knows what is more important for us. Trust God who comes even in the form of a baby to stay with us. We will experience God who calms our storms in our lives and cast out demons from our environments.
- What kind of storms are you experiencing in your life now?
- What does help you to overcome fear and doubt in this situation?