What Kind of Man is This? (Matthew Sermon 27 of 151)
July 21, 2002 | Andy Davis
This text reveals one of the most spectacular miracles that Jesus ever did. I think to myself, if I could be back in time to just see a handful of things in history, this might be one of them. To be in the boat with Jesus, when He rebukes the winds and the waves, and it becomes instantly calm. Now, wouldn't that have been something to see? I want you to see it in your mind of faith today, I want you to feel again the power of Jesus and to see and understand who He really is.
The central question of this text is, what kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him. When Christi and I, and our two older children were doing mission work in East Asia they had a season there every year called the typhoon season which I loved. A typhoon is the East Asian version of a hurricane. I remember one in particular when we were staying with Christi's sister and husband, and their two children. We were all in the house which was being rocked and buffeted by the wind and the rain. We would slide open the storm shutters to look out to see what was going on outside. How exciting and thrilling it was to see these trees bent over, almost touching the ground and to see the ocean just churned into a froth and heaving, frenzy by the wind, and to realize that my God was controlling all of this. I remember thinking, you know, just knowing that it's God that is controlling all of this and that makes all the whole difference.
Calming of the Sea as Allegory
As we come to this text, we come to a little bit of a danger zone for a Scripture interpreter. The danger here is the problem of allegory. An allegory is an extended spiritual story which has no real connection necessarily in history, but which teaches us something about our spiritual lives. You've heard this kind of thing before. The idea of this text is that Jesus can control the storms of your life. I want to be careful; I want you to understand that whatever you mean by storms of your life, He can certainly control those things. In the end, we end up about the same place, looking to Christ who is sovereign and powerful and can do anything in your life, and trusting Him. But I don't want to skip the history that this reflects. This text recounts a historical event that actually occurred in space and time, and I think with the allegory, you lose that. What do I mean by allegory? Let me give you some examples. There was a man named Tertullian who lived a long time ago. When he came to this text he said, "That little ship did present a figure of the church, in that she is disquieted in the sea, that is in the whirls, by the waves, that is by persecutions and temptations. The Lord, through patience sleeping as it were, until roused by the prayer of the saints, he checks the world and restores tranquility to his own." That is a beautiful example of an allegorical approach to this text. The boat was not really made of wood, the boat is actually the church. The wind and the waves are persecution and hardship that piles up, and Jesus seems like he's sleeping during that time of persecution, and then at the last minute He gets up and shows himself powerful. The persecution abates and the church is at peace again.
Or this one, from Augustine. He says that individually, each of us is God’s temple, that is true, and his own heart is the vessel in which each sails. He cannot suffer shipwreck if his thoughts are only good. You have heard an insult, it is the wind, you are angry. When therefore the wind blows and the wave swells, the ship is endangered, the heart namely is in jeopardy. The heart is tossed to and for. When you have heard an insult, you long to be avenged, and low avenged you have been. Rejoicing in another's harm, you have suffered shipwreck, because Christ is asleep in you. What does it mean that Christ is asleep in you? You have forgotten Christ. Rouse Him that He may get up in that time of temptation and give a gentle answer. What is going on there? That's allegory. The ship represents your heart, the storm is temptation that you might rebuke or respond harshly to somebody and Jesus is asleep. You've forgotten that Christ would not respond that way, rouse Him up that He might give a gentle and kind answer.
Another example some of you have heard, "Lord of my Rocking Boat." On the back it says, "Refuge in the storms of life. No storm in your life is so great," says, the author, "That our Lord's clear voice can't quiet the waves and bring you inner peace and strength." During a stormy period of the author's life, the author found not only strength but growth in her relationship with God. She shares what she learned about the waves of life that frequently toss us about and carry us off course. Waves created by people, by priorities, by pain, by death of loved ones, and psychological prisons. Don't misunderstand me. Is God sovereign over people, priorities, psychological prisons, financial distress? Of course, he is. It would have been easy for me to preach this kind of sermon. What are the waves and the winds that face you today? All of you coming in here today have some, and I could immediately make a connection with you. What's the problem with this? I don't want you to forget that there was at one place and at one time, an event that occurred in history, and that Jesus was there, and he displayed himself to be God by stealing the storm. That's the thing we lose with this whole allegorical approach. The purpose of all of this, is to portray that Jesus is the Messiah, He is God. They ask the question that we should all ask when we come to this text. What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the waves do his bidding?
Jesus as Human and Divine
That's the focal point here, the nature of His Kingdom. Throughout Matthew's Gospel, by way of review, we've had a list of credentials for Jesus as King of the Kingdom of Heaven. He wants to show us and to prove to us that Jesus of Nazareth was actually and is actually the King of the Kingdom of Heaven. It begins with a genealogy, in which it starts right out with the human side of Jesus, His genealogy, His ancestors. He is the son of David, He is the son of Abraham, right from the very start. He's physical, He's a man, He's a Jew, He's got a genealogy. That's true, but also in Matthew Chapter 1, we have an account of the virgin birth, unlike any of us, and unlike anyone who's ever lived. Jesus was born of a virgin and was the fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah said, "The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and so not only is He physically man, but He is also the son of God, He is God in the flesh. In Chapter 2 of Matthew, the Magi come and worship Him, showing that He is in fact the Savior of the whole world. It's a foretaste of the fact that Gentiles will bow down before this one and they will offer Him treasures, they will offer Him worship. We are foreshadowed to some degree in that Magi worship, because we are Gentiles for the most part. We come here and we worship Jesus Christ in fulfillment of that prophecy for Jesus is Savior of the world.
In Chapter 2 also, we see Jesus fleeing as a baby to Egypt. He is the fulfillment of prophecy, "For out of Egypt I called my son," says the prophet. Jesus would have a, if you will, stormy life on Earth. He would be persecuted, He would be in fulfillment of Scripture, harassed until his death. But He is the fulfillment of prophecy. In His baptism in Chapter 3, we see that He is totally willing to identify with us as sinners. It is proper for us... It was proper for Him, He said to be baptized, because He needed to fulfill all righteousness. John the Baptist consented, and He was baptized and yet at that moment as much as He was identified with our fleshly sinful nature, yet was without sin, He was perfect, and a voice came from heaven. This never happened at your baptism, I can assure you. "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased,” says a voice from heaven. The blending together of the humanity of Christ, and the deity, is a constant theme. In Chapter 4, we see the beginning of His ministry, He begins to preach, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near. The advent of the kingdom means that you must repent, you must turn away from sin, turn away from flesh, turn away from selfishness, and you must come to Christ, you must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Repent for the King of Heaven is near." Then He backed up His claim by doing one miracle after another in Matthew Chapter 4. Then in Matthew 5, 6 and 7, what's commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount, we get a display of kingdom teaching from the mouth of the king himself. What is the essence of kingdom life? It begins with those that are willing to be spiritual beggars, who are willing to just come and say, and say, "I have nothing. Blessed are the spiritual beggars for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." And then He explains what that life is like, and He teaches and speaks as one who had never spoken or taught before. He taught as one who had authority and not as their teachers of the law. He was powerful in teaching.
Now in Chapter 8, we've seen Jesus doing incredible miracles. In Matthew Chapter 8:1-17, He's doing incredible healings, things that only God could do. A leper comes and kneels before him, right after He comes out the Sermon on the Mount and says, "If you're willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus says, "I am willing, be clean.” He just touches him and instantly he's cleansed. Then a centurion comes as a servant is lying at home paralyzed in terrible suffering, and Jesus is willing to go, but the centurion says, "You don't even need to move. But just say the word and my servant will be healed." "Just say the word.” The very same word He's going to speak over the wind and the waves, He speaks, and it's done. How powerful is the Word of Christ? We're going to see later in Matthew when Jesus speaks and says, "Your sins are forgiven,” and it is so. Isn't that wonderful.
When He speaks to you and says, "Your sins are forgiven,” it is so because He's has that kind of authority and power. He can see Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever, He can just touch her, and the fever is gone. Then in the evening, all kinds of people come, and Jesus heals them all. He drives out demons with a word. Just a word and the demons flee, the power of Jesus. The last time that we talked about this, however, we talked about the cost of following Christ. A teacher of the law comes to him and says, "Teacher, I'll follow you wherever you go." "Oh really? Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nest, but the son of man has no place to lay his head." Isn't that powerful? Why? The teacher of the law, was he encouraged or was he dissuaded? What if he turned back out of a love of ease and comfort and did not follow Jesus that day? What if he went back into his home?
Later that evening, the teacher of the law looks out over the lake, sees a terrible storm, and says, "Boy, I'm glad I'm here. I'm glad I'm in my own home safe and sound. I'm going to sleep in my bed tonight. Jesus, who knows where he's going to put his head down, but I'm safe and secure in my home. Look at that terrible storm, I'd hate to be out in that storm tonight." What would he have missed, though? What would he have missed through his cowardice and through his fear? “I’m not willing to follow Jesus, my life's going to be too tough.” Yes, but what did he miss? A display of the deity of Christ, unmatched in history. He just speaks and the wind and the wave are silent. I hope he followed Jesus, but we really don't know.
Our account begins with Jesus challenging his disciples to follow him. Then in Verse 23 it says, "Then He got into the boat and his disciples followed Him." We're going to see in this account the fact that Christ is totally obeyed by the natural realm. What do I mean by that? It means that the physical universe around us is in total submission to the word of Jesus Christ. He is in fact the creator and ruler over the physical universe. This is New Testament doctrine. Listen to John 1:1 and following, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." He was with God in the beginning, through Him all things were made, without Him, nothing was made that has been made. The writer says, "Mountains rose and valleys sank at His command. Atmospheres were formed and oceans gathered through His power. Every species of life, sharks, lizards, flamingos, wild boars, chipmunks, electric eels, gila monsters, bald eagles, Shetland ponies, and every man, woman, and child in history, all were created by God the Father through Jesus Christ His eternal Son." He is king over the physical universe. The Scripture also says that He actively rules over all things physical. He actively rules over. In Colossians Chapter 1, "Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him, all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him." We've already said that He's a creator of all things, visible and invisible, but verse 17 says, "He is before all things," that means He is supremely preeminent, like king, over all physical things, “and in Him, all things hold together." Jesus is holding your atoms together right now, so that the nucleus will not fly apart, should He withdraw His hand. He's holding that wooden pew you're sitting on together. Aren't you glad that moment by moment, He sustains the physical universe? Hebrews 1:3, "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word." The Word goes out; He sustains the physical universe moment by moment. Christ holds every atom of the universe together. He rules over creation with absolute sovereignty. Earthquakes and storms come when He says so. When he says to go, they must obey.
I came across a great Scripture, Psalm 89: 8-9. "Oh Lord, God Almighty, who is like you, you are mighty O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea when its waves mount up, you still them." That is directly fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He rules over the surging sea and when He says so, they are stilled and quieted. This is our Sovereign God. Christ's miracles display his power over nature. Think about them now. Think of how Christ's miracles display that He is king over the physical world that we live in. For example, turning water into wine, it's a process of fermentation, usually takes years for a fine wine. Jesus did it in a moment. In a moment, it was done. Or how about Peter's miraculous catch of fish? Let's say, you are fish swimming in the sea of Galilee, minding your own business. You're just swimming around in your native habitat, and all of a sudden you have a strong urge to turn left. You don't know why, you just do, and you start swimming, and you're swimming faster and faster, you don't know why, you're just swimming and all of a sudden, you're caught in a net. Peter pulls you up and believes that Jesus is God because Jesus is sovereign over the fish of the sea. He can do anything. Or how about Peter again? Needing a little tax money, Jesus gives him some fishing advice. Go out into the lake, throw out your line, take the first fish you catch, open its mouth, and in the that mouth, you'll find a four-drachma coin. How did that happen? Somebody, a fisherman, I guess, lost a four-drachma coin. That's no small amount of money back then, especially for a poor fisherman. It fell out of his pocket by the hand of God., it started to flutter down to the bottom, and a fish saw it and grabbed at it. He couldn't swallow it, though, it was jammed there. Sometime later, Peter's hook goes down, there's something else to swallow and the fish swallows the hook, out he comes and there's that coin. The sovereign hand of Jesus Christ over physical nature. How about walking in water? Ordinarily, the laws of hydrodynamics or whatever will tell you that you sink. Jesus says, I don't follow those rules. He just walks right across the water; He is sovereign over these things. He curses a fig tree; usually it might take months for a fig tree to wither, shrivel up and die. Jesus curses it and that same day it's dead, because He gives life and also takes it back when He chooses. He is sovereign and He is powerful. All of the healings that Jesus did show his sovereign control over the physical body. He knit you together in your mother's womb. When Peter again pulls out his sword, and chops off Malchus's ear, Jesus has the power to reach out and create him a new one just on the spot. This is Jesus' power over the physical universe.
Now, Jesus challenges His disciples to follow Him. He says, "I want to show you and give you a display you will never forget of my sovereign control over the physical universe. He says to his disciples, "Follow Me and let the dead bury their own dead," and then He gets into the boat and his disciples followed Him. Now, hardship is going to follow you if you are a Christian. You're not going to have an easy road. If those disciples had known that a storm was coming, would they have gotten in the boat if Jesus had only told them part of the story? “By the way, a vicious storm is about to come up. Will you follow Me anyway?” Who knows?
Jesus actually does warn us in John 16:33, "I've told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have conquered the world." Isn't that powerful? The Apostles Paul and Barnabas told the new disciples of Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, "We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God. You want to follow Jesus? It's not necessarily going to be easy all the time.” They're about to be challenged to the depth of their being. They're going to go through a ride unlike any carnival ride they'd ever been on their life. There weren't carnivals back then, that's an anachronism, but they were going to be lifted up to Heaven and they were going to go down to the depths. They were going to be convinced that they were going to die; it was their last day on Earth, that day. That’s what Jesus was going to bring them through.
In verse 24, we see the test come and it comes without warning. Matthew uses the word “behold.” "Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat, but Jesus was sleeping." Now it's just a sudden storm, a powerful storm that literally comes out of nowhere. This is actually not unknown in the Sea of Galilee. What's going on is that the Sea of Galilee is actually one of the lowest, if not the lowest point on Earth, 700 feet below sea level. Hot winds would come down and hit the mountains and kind of curl down like that. Meteorologists tell us why this storm comes. Winds sweep down the steep ravines, and they whip up instant storms on the Sea of Galilee. But this was an exceptionally violent storm. The Greek word is “seismos” from which we get seismic which has to do with earthquakes. It's almost literally an earthquake of water. Imagine like the Sea of Galilee, a bowl of water and a huge giant shaking it. That's what it was like. It was like a seismic storm, and it was so severe, in the NAS in verse 24, it says, "The boat was hidden by the waves." Literally covered, you couldn't see the boat because of the waves. It was just an undulating tidal wave kind of situation, and this little boat is going up and down, and you just can't see it. A storm so severe that the disciples who were veteran fishermen, who spent from their boyhood every day on that sea were utterly convinced that they were going to die.
Let me give you an illustration of this. I’m on a plane ride and I meet a pilot who flies with USAir, and we get into a great conversation. We're talking. Let's say that the pilot and I sat together, the pilot's at the window seat, and I'm sitting next to the pilot. We take off and we're having an amicable conversation. All of a sudden, as we fly along, we fly into an electrical storm with some severe turbulence, and he looks out and shrugs. “Been through that before.” He doesn't seem concerned at all, and says, "A bad storm." He said, "I've seen much worse than this." But all of a sudden, there's a strange sound that you have never heard on an airplane before. The pilot sits bolt upright, and then immediately looks out the window, and then says, "I got to get past." He pushes past you and starts looking for a parachute. How would you feel at that moment?
Let's say you're in the boat with the disciples, and they've been on that sea every day of their life, and they say, "We're going to drown today." That's the kind of storm it was. But Jesus is asleep in the back of the boat. Can you explain that? This is the mystery of the incarnation. We have Jesus’ physical side displayed right before us here. Jesus is sleeping. We're about to see his divine side and his power over the wind and the waves, but we see his physical side here. How so? Because He's asleep. Our God neither slumbers nor sleeps, right? It's not a deity phenomenon to be asleep, it's a physical thing. Jesus had a body. Why was He asleep? Well, He was tired. What happens when you're tired? Things that happen physically to us when we're tired, were happening in his body. It says in Mark 4:38 that, "Jesus was in the stern sleeping on a cushion." That's an interesting detail isn't it? Why was Jesus sleeping on a cushion? Because it was more comfortable. Doesn't it make sense? He put a cushion under himself, the same reason you put a cushion on yourself, it's more comfortable, and He fell asleep. Jesus was fully man, He got tired, He got weary, He sweat, He got hungry, He got thirsty, He bled, and He died so that you might have eternal life. He is truly man. He just finished saying, "The Son of Man has no place to lay His head, so I'm going to sleep in this boat. I'm going to catch a little sleep because who knows what I'm going to face on the other side." You know what He's going to face on the other side? “Legion,” the demonic force, and so he’d better catch a little sleep now because it's the only chance He's going to get. So, He rests. We see the physical incarnation side of Jesus.
We also see the human side of the disciples, don't we? They are absolutely terrified. The disciples went and woke Him saying, "Lord save us, we're going to drown." Absolute terror in the Greek, it comes across in three short words, "Lord, save, we perish," that's what it says. They can barely get the words out. Mark 4:38, "The disciples went and woke Him saying, ‘Teacher, don't you care if we drown?’” Oh, that's awful. Fear causes you to lose your mind, it causes you to lose perspective, "Don't you care?" What a stunning loss of perspective. Jesus left His Father's throne above, took on a human body, subjected to the very frailty, that I talked about, because He did nothing but care. Never has there ever been a man who cared about the perishing like Jesus. Jesus deeply cares for the perishing, but they had lost perspective. "Don't you care that we drown?" "Of course, I care." Their fear drove out their faith. Let me tell you something, either faith will drive out fear or fear will drive out faith. They can't co-exist. In Jesus, there was no fear, He's asleep completely trusting in His Heavenly Father. He entrusted His life into His Father's hands and said, "I'm going to go to sleep."
The disciples had lost their confidence, their fear had driven out their faith. Thankfully, as Jesus wakes up, He says, "You of little faith," verse 26, "Why are you so afraid?" Isn't it better to be of little faith than to be of no faith? If you have no faith, you are lost, you're dead in your transgressions and sins. If you have no faith, then all the record of your sins is kept in Heaven and you will perish in your sins and die eternally in hell if you have no faith. But if you have a little faith, that's different, isn't it? It means you're justified, you've trusted in Christ, but you've just lost perspective, you've forgotten for just a moment, how powerful is God. "You of little faith," He says, "Have you forgotten how powerful God is?"
Job 28, "God established the force of the wind and measured out the waters. God made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm." Psalm 135:6-7, "The Lord does whatever pleases Him, in the Heavens and on the Earth, in the seas and all their depths, He makes clouds rise from the ends of the Earth, He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses." God is in charge of every storm. Have you forgotten that you of little faith? Psalm 148:7-8, "Praise the Lord from the Earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do His bidding." Have you forgotten that you of little faith? He's in charge of every storm.
In the days of Noah, at the end of the flood, God sent a wind and dried the Earth. In the days of Moses, He sent an east wind, and locusts covered the whole country, and then He sent a west wind, and then they left. When they went through the Red Sea, a night-long east wind was so strong that it carved a path in the sea. That's what God can do with wind. In the days of Jonah, when he rebelled against God and fled away from Him, rather than witness to the Ninevites, a storm came up at God's command. God sent the furious storm, and when the sailors threw him overboard, God immediately caused the storm to stop. "Have you forgotten you of little faith? Why are you so afraid?" said Jesus. Here's where we lose the allegory and zero in on the significance of this moment and this is so important, listen.
Jesus was an utterly unique man in history, and this was an utterly unique moment in history. The disciples were uniquely called to be apostles. They should have understood not just God's general power, but His specific momentary power on Jesus' life. Let me say it to you very plainly. God did not send His only begotten Son into the world to die in a boating accident. I mean, think about that. "We're perishing," "No, you're not. Go to sleep. Rest. We'll get across the lake." Imagine the headlines of the heavenly newspaper. "Christ mission's on Earth ends in tragedy, boating accident claims the life of God's only begotten Son." Sub-stories: all the prophets stunned, Isaiah the prophet shocked and saddened. "I had thought that He was going to die as a sacrifice for our sins, but instead, His lungs filled with water." Zechariah wrote, "They will look on the one they have pierced, but the water killed Him." King David would be most surprised of all. He would write in Psalm 22, "Those hands and feet would be pierced," and in Psalm 16, “that He would rise again but instead He drowned." What a tragedy. Do you see how this fear causes us to lose all our perspective, but also how this is not allegorizable? This is a unique moment in history. Jesus did not come to drown and therefore He could fall asleep completely safe.
The disciples should have understood that. They forgot God and they forgot His promises and His purposes. "You of little faith. Why are you so afraid?" In verse 26, He gets up and rebukes the wind and the waves by a simple word. He does a miracle, He rebukes the winds and the waves, and it is completely calm. You know what's interesting to me about this? Jesus' first priority in the Matthew account is His disciples lack of faith; the storm He'll get to by and by, because He's not going to die, neither are they. The storm can wait, the disciples lack of faith cannot wait because if they continue to show this lack of faith, they will not be fruitful for God the way He intends. He must deal with their lack of faith. Stilling the storm was nothing more than simply giving the Word. Just speaking the Word and it's done. The Word of God is infinitely powerful, and Jesus' Word is enough to rule the winds and the waves, completely, and so He speaks, “Peace, be still." That's all. Then Matthew tells us, "A great calm came over the sea." He had early told us that a seismic storm had come up. This is a great calm. Jesus doesn't do things, small. It's going to be a great storm and it’s going to be a great calm. I get the image that it was like a mirror and that you could have heard a pin drop. They're all still wet, the boat is soaking wet, but …. Incredible, just like that, the power of the Word of Christ and the storm is gone.
If you had been in that boat, what would you have thought at that moment? If you had been normal, like the disciples, you would have been even more afraid than you were a moment ago. You know why? Because you know here in the boat with God, God Himself is right over there looking at you. That's scary in a way, isn't it? Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. They were terrified. It says in the Mark account, “They were terrified, they were afraid, they asked each other. ‘Who is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him?’” They were terrified. Ecclesiastes 8:8 says, "No man has power over the wind to contain it." Did you hear that? "No man has power over the wind to contain it?" Listen, "So no one has power over the day of his death." We are weak and powerless beings, but Jesus has power over the wind and also has power over the day of His death. Jesus said in John chapter 10, "No one takes My life from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord, I lay it down freely and I have the authority to lay it down and I have the authority to take it back up again. This command I received from My Father." That's what Jesus said.
So, what is the connection here? If Jesus can speak to the wind and the wave somebody that powerful, how did He end of dying? How did someone that powerful end up so weak? He died in our place that we might have eternal life. God took our sins and laid them on His Son, and His Son perished like a weak, frail human being that we might have eternal life. No lack of power there. It's the most powerful thing that's ever happened because it emptied Hell of people like you and me who simply believe in Christ. By simple faith, we don't have to go to Hell, we have eternal life. The most powerful thing that's ever happened is the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No man has power over the wind or power over the day of his death except one, Jesus Christ.
So, what's the answer to the question? What kind of man is this even the winds and the waves obey Him? He is God. He is God and He came to give you eternal life through simple faith. What kind of application can we make here? Well, let's not do the allegorical thing. Let's get those same truths from another place in Scripture. They're all true.
"Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered," Jesus said, “so don't be anxious, don't worry about your life, what you'll eat, or drink, about your body, what you'll wear. Don't worry about those kinds of storms of your life, don't be concerned about those things because God is sovereign over those things and He will care for you." But there is a storm coming, and this one you must be concerned about. Jesus said, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock, the rains came, the streams rose, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who build his house on sand. The rains came, the streams rose, the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
So, the Sermon on the Mount ends with a crash. And what is it? It is Judgment Day, that storm is coming. Are you ready for it? Because there's only one voice that will still the storm of the wrath of God, and that's Jesus Christ. He stands under the wrath of God to take it in your place that you might have eternal life. Have you trusted in Him? Is He your Savior? Do you believe in Him today? He is God. He came to be frail and weak that we might have eternal life.
There is a serious danger in doing the allegorical thing in another sense. How are you going to face troubles, and trials, when you don't get the successful outcome? Do you know that a lot of Godly people have drowned in history? Do you realize that? In 1870s, Horatio Spafford was a successful Chicago lawyer close friend of Evangelist, DL Moody. Spafford had invested heavily in real estate, but the Chicago Fire of 1871, wiped out his holdings. And so, he devoted himself to an evangelistic life, helping DL Moody. He wanted to go over to England and help DL Moody and Ira Sankey in an outreach there. But at the last minute, he couldn't get on the boat, so he sent his wife and his four daughters, on ahead of him, stayed behind to do some business. He would catch up with them later or so he thought because there was a collision at sea and the ship “Ville du Havre”, sank in 12 minutes. The ship went to the bottom and Spafford's four daughters were all killed, they all drowned. His wife survived, went over and cabled him back these words, "Saved alone." Where was God then? Is He not sovereign over that? Oh, He is. And Horatio Spafford put it in words. He said, "When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul, though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, let this blest assurance control that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate, and has shed His own blood for my soul." I'm not going to stand up and promise you a successful outcome to every storm you will face in your life. But understand this, what really matters is the state of your soul before Christ. He will handle all the rest. All of those other things. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all of these things will be added to you. Don't be troubled over those storms of circumstance. Zero in on this. If you have come to faith in Christ, it is well with your soul, it doesn't matter what happens to these other things ultimately.
If you have not trusted in Christ, it is not well with your soul and you must come to Him. If God has been speaking to you today and you have never trusted in Christ, as your Lord and Savior, I would urge that you not walk out of this place. I would urge that you come and talk to me. If you're not sure that you're a Christian, will you please come down and talk to me? Meanwhile, the rest of you, if you know of a lost neighbor, relative, friend, I would like you to spend the time that we are singing, while you're singing, I want you to think about that person and commit yourself to praying this week, for their salvation. If it's not well with their soul, it's not well at all.