“And they feared exceedingly and said one to another, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him’?”
Such is always the reaction when sinful flesh encounters Perfect Purity; yet, as we shrink back, He stretches out His Hands to us.
“And they feared exceedingly.”
When Jesus said “Peace be still and the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (v.39), the disciples knew they were in the Presence of someone unlike anyone they’d ever met before. Even though they’d seen Him do many miraculous acts prior to that point, the sight of the whipping, whirling winds and white-capping waves instantaneously obeying His command unnerved them.
That’s why they asked “What manner of man is this?”
We would have done the same—for His was no smoke-and-mirrors’ magic trick or sleight-of-hand illusion. It was the “Real Deal” and they knew they were in the presence of a “one-of-a-kind, in-a-class-by-Himself miracle worker.”
They just didn’t realize just how “unusual” He was—for they asked “What manner of MAN is this?” If they’d realized just Who He was/is, they would immediately have fallen down as dead men at His feet; instead, they “feared exceedingly” and shrank back from Him even as Peter did that day after Jesus had directed them to a record catch (Lk. 5:1-8).
The greater storm that night was in the disciples’ hearts and minds. Even though the Greek word “megas” is used in vv.37 and 39 to describe the storm and calm that followed, it’s also used to describe their fear in His Presence. The Mega-Storm produced one kind of phobia in them; His Mega-Miracle produced another kind of Mega-Fear. Yet, later on after His Resurrection and Ascension, their fleshly fear would turn into a bold, Holy Faith that would “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).
And, He’s wanting to do the same thing today, dear Pilgrim, through us.
Assuredly, just as the disciples realized He was no ordinary man, but was the Promised Messiah sent from God, so do we tremble with Holy Fear when we realize the One living in our hearts is the Creator of all that is. And, when we realize the same Power that raised Him from the dead is also at work in us, it causes us to respond bow down and whisper, “O Lord, my God, how Great Thou art!”
Thankfully, no longer do we stand trembling before “the mount (Mt. Sinai) that cannot be touched (for fear of dying), that burned with fire, blackness, darkness” (Heb. 12:18-20), but we are invited to come boldly unto “Mount Zion and the City of the living God. . .and to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant. . .by a new and Living Way through His Blood” (vv.22-24; 10:20). Hallelujah!!
May the Holy Spirit help us today to realize we are on Holy Ground wherever we are because He is there. And, may this remembrance cause us to live “holy lives because He is Holy” (Lev. 11:45). That way we’ll be the type of “consecrated conduits” He can use.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna November 25, 2010