Matthew 8

Matthew 8:10

Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.

Such great faith. The centurion had a revelation of Jesus that was greater than most. “Just say the word.”

It’s a mistake to conclude that the size of our faith matters or that we need more faith before we can access the grace of God. Even a small mustard-seed amount of faith is enough to move mountains (Matt. 17:20). We don’t need more faith as much as we need a deeper revelation of God’s love for us. It is his goodness that inspires us to trust him.

See entry for Faith.

Matthew 8:11

“I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;

Many will come from east and west. This is one of the first hints Jesus gave that his kingdom was open to all. “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (Mark 13:10). The gospel will be preached beyond Judea to the Gentiles. For Jewish disciples raised under racist religion, this was a new and scandalous idea. But they obeyed and within a generation the gospel was ‘bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world’ (Col. 1:6).

Matthew 8:17

This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.”

(a) Our infirmities are our wounds and weaknesses. Jesus carried away our sicknesses, but he took upon himself our weaknesses. Jesus knew what it meant to be tempted and persecuted and to feel weary and come to the end of his rope.

(b) Our diseases include our sicknesses.

Matthew 8:20

Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

The Son of Man. Even though he was the Son of God, Jesus typically referred to himself as the Son of Man in a nod to Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 7:13–14, Matt. 24:30). Few others referred to Jesus this way, but Stephen was one who did (Acts 7:56).

Matthew 8:25

And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!”

Save. The original word (sozo) is usually translated as save from our sins (e.g., Matt. 1:21), or save us from death (e.g., Matt. 8:25), but it can also imply healing. When Jesus healed the sick, he sozo ed them; he healed them (Mark 5:23), delivered them (Luke 8:36) and made them whole (Matt. 9:21). See entry for Salvation.

Matthew 8:26

He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

(a) Why are you afraid? Fear is a faith-killer. This is why we need to feed our faith and starve our fears. We do this by reminding ourselves of what God had said. If the disciples had remembered that Jesus said they were going to the other side (Mark 4:35), they would not have feared drowning.

(b) You men of little faith. Great fear indicates little or no faith. Jesus is not saying the disciples need big faith to survive storms. He’s saying they had no faith (Mark 4:40). “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). He’s encouraging them to trust in his word and fear not.

(c) Rebuked. Jesus rebuked the wind and the word used (epitimao) is the same Greek word that is used when Jesus rebuked the devil (Matt. 17:18) and various demons (e.g., Mark 1:25). This has led some to conclude that the storm was demonic in nature. However, the Bible never says this and we risk glorifying the devil by attributing to him powers he may not have.

In the poetry of the prophets, it is the Lord who is ultimately credited with the wonders of nature (e.g., Jer. 10:13, 51:16). Just as it is wrong to blame the devil, it is equally misguided to think that all the storms that come our way were sent by God to test us. The story rather illustrates the power we have in Christ to still the storms of life.

See entry for Faith.

Matthew 8:29

And they cried out, saying, “What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

The Son of God. The demons recognized that Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 3:11, Luke 4:41). Others who called Jesus the Son of God include John the Baptist (John 1:34), Nathanael (John 1:49), Martha (John 11:27), the centurion at the cross (Matt. 27:54, Mark 15:39), and the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:35).

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