Isaiah 60 & Matthew 8

Isaiah 60

    Arise, shine, for your light has come,
        and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
    For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,
        and thick darkness the peoples;
    but the LORD will arise upon you,
        and his glory will be seen upon you.
    And nations shall come to your light,
        and kings to the brightness of your rising.
    Lift up your eyes all around, and see;
        they all gather together, they come to you;
    your sons shall come from afar,
        and your daughters shall be carried on the hip.
    Then you shall see and be radiant;
        your heart shall thrill and exult,
    because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you,
        the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
    A multitude of camels shall cover you,
        the young camels of Midian and Ephah;
        all those from Sheba shall come.
    They shall bring gold and frankincense,
        and shall bring good news, the praises of the LORD.
    All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you;
        the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you;
    they shall come up with acceptance on my altar,
        and I will beautify my beautiful house.
    Who are these that fly like a cloud,
        and like doves to their windows?
    For the coastlands shall hope for me,
        the ships of Tarshish first,
    to bring your children from afar,
        their silver and gold with them,
    for the name of the LORD your God,
        and for the Holy One of Israel,
        because he has made you beautiful.
    Foreigners shall build up your walls,
        and their kings shall minister to you;
    for in my wrath I struck you,
        but in my favor I have had mercy on you.
    Your gates shall be open continually;
        day and night they shall not be shut,
    that people may bring to you the wealth of the nations,
        with their kings led in procession.
    For the nation and kingdom
        that will not serve you shall perish;
        those nations shall be utterly laid waste.
    The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
        the cypress, the plane, and the pine,
    to beautify the place of my sanctuary,
        and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
    The sons of those who afflicted you
        shall come bending low to you,
    and all who despised you
        shall bow down at your feet;
    they shall call you the City of the LORD,
        the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
    Whereas you have been forsaken and hated,
        with no one passing through,
    I will make you majestic forever,
        a joy from age to age.
    You shall suck the milk of nations;
        you shall nurse at the breast of kings;
    and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
        and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
    Instead of bronze I will bring gold,
        and instead of iron I will bring silver;
    instead of wood, bronze,
        instead of stones, iron.
    I will make your overseers peace
        and your taskmasters righteousness.
    Violence shall no more be heard in your land,
        devastation or destruction within your borders;
    you shall call your walls Salvation,
        and your gates Praise.
    The sun shall be no more
        your light by day,
    nor for brightness shall the moon
        give you light;
    but the LORD will be your everlasting light,
        and your God will be your glory.
    Your sun shall no more go down,
        nor your moon withdraw itself;
    for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
        and your days of mourning shall be ended.
    Your people shall all be righteous;
        they shall possess the land forever,
    the branch of my planting, the work of my hands,
        that I might be glorified.
    The least one shall become a clan,
        and the smallest one a mighty nation;
    I am the LORD;
        in its time I will hasten it.

(Isaiah 60 ESV)

Matthew 8

    When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

    When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

    And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”

    Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

    And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

    And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

(Matthew 8 ESV)

Matthew 8: Imagine getting together with some of your closest friends and trying to start a religious following by making up some miraculous stories about a man you once knew. You decide to tell this one story of how this man silenced a storm out at sea. Would the story you create not be way more extravagant than this account given by Matthew? There’s no great struggle or dramatic production. You have a sleeping hero who wakes up, tells the storm to stop and that’s it. 

A great testimony to the truthfulness of Scripture is simply how matter of fact such great miracles are described. Jesus simply rebukes a storm like we would rebuke a disruptive child, and then were told the storm obeys like a submissive child simply doing what he was been told to do.    

It’s fascinating that the boat is being “swamped by the waves” and Jesus remains a sleep in such a small Galilean fishing boat. The Sovereign Creator over all of creation is not disturbed by the great storms and calamities of this world. When the violent waves of this world come crashing down on us, it can seem that God is asleep, absent, or unaware. Jesus says such fear is unwarranted. Have faith in His sovereignty and rest assured, our God is not unaware..... He is simply unshaken.