First Sunday after Epiphany – Monday
What manner of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey Him! – Matthew 8:27.
From Galilee, Jesus had returned to Jerusalem for the Passover, and in the temple, before a mighty concourse of people, He had preached a most powerful sermon regarding the divine majesty of His eternal Sonship, but the Jews had rejected Him and had threatened to kill Him.
So now He went to Galilee, there to manifest Himself as the true Prophet foretold by Moses. John the Baptist’s activity had now come to an end. Jesus chose for His home the city of Capernaum, situated on the Sea of Gennesaret. And of an evening, at the close of an extremely busy day, He entered a ship, to go to the eastern shore of the lake. His disciples followed Him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves, but Jesus was asleep. And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying: “Lord, save us: we perish” (Matthew 8:25)! Then said He to them: “Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith?” And He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm (v. 26). But the men marveled, saying: “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him” (v. 27).
This tired Man, whom, however, the winds and the sea obey, is and will ever remain the incarnate Word, the eternal Son of the Father who has become man. He is your Savior, who then was in the state of humiliation, but now is exalted to the right hand of God the Father, having “finished” (John 19:30) doing the prophesied will of His heavenly Father by perfectly obeying and fulfilling the Law of God in your behalf and in behalf of all sinners, satisfying God’s justice so that God has announced, for Jesus’ sake, that all sinners are “righteous” (Romans 5:19) in His sight. By faith in this Messiah, this Jesus, this “Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14), “the Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6), you are not only free from God’s “wrath” (Romans 5:9) and “condemnation” (Romans 8:1), but you also have an almighty Savior, who has all power in heaven and on earth, and, furthermore, is graciously with you at all times. Therefore, fear not! “The Lord of hosts is with [you]; the God of Jacob is [your] refuge” (Psalm 46:7 and Psalm 46:11).
PRAYER – O true Man and true God, Jesus Christ, whom winds and seas and all things obey, I acknowledge my weaknesses, my shortcomings, and my many fears. O help me that I do not foolishly leave Thee and turn against Thy Word. Keep the ship of Thy Church against all the powerful enemies who threaten it, comfort my fearful heart, and strengthen me when my faith is weak. Be with me in my every need, my almighty, gracious, merciful, and faithful Helper. Amen.
I am content! My Jesus liveth still, in whom my heart is pleased.
He hath fulfilled the Law of God for us; God’s wrath He hath appeased.
Since He in death could perish never; I also shall not die forever.
I am content! I am content!
Hymn 196, stanza 1 (TLH)