Thursday, March 17, 2011

Matthew 8:23-34


When we read this passage we are confronted with a Jesus many of us are unfamiliar with. This is not the meek and mild Jesus many of us see in Western paintings of Jesus. This Jesus is the one who calms the storm who casts out demons: who definitively shows he has authority over all of creation. In the casting out of the demons we can see in anticipation Jesus’ ultimate victory over the power of Satan.

How are we to respond to this Jesus? “What sort of man is this?” exclaim the disciples.

Like the disciples, we too may find ourselves struggling with faith in this bewildering Jesus.

Stanley Hauerwas comments on this passage and says this:

“Like the disciples it is necessary for the church to recognize that we too are of little faith. The church, like the disciples’ boat, is the ark of safety in a storm-tossed sea. Our temptation is to try to row to shore to escape the storm, but when we do so we fail to witness to the one who is peace. The church’s safety comes through the confession of our sinfulness, which is nowhere more apparent than our refusal to live in accordance with who this man, Jesus, says he is. It is only through the confession of sin that the church becomes for the world what the world cannot be for itself.”

(Excerpt from Stanley Hauerwas, SCM Theological Commentary on the Bible: Matthew (London: SCM, 2006), 97.

Hauerwas reminds us that our confession of sin is central to being the church. Realizing the authority of Jesus to restore creation means acknowledging our failure to do so ourselves. This Lent, may we come humbly before this Jesus who has power and authority to make all things new.

No comments:

Post a Comment