“But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” Matt 8:27
Over 10 years ago I was sitting on a dirty, bumpy bus in the middle of nowhere in Mexico serving the Lord as a missionary. I sat reading my bible in the crowded rural bus. When I came across this verse at that time I was overcome by the beauty and the simplicity of the statement. I read it out loud to the woman sitting next to me in the rumbling bus. We shared a quiet moment of awe. This Easter season I am reminded again of this verse. What manner of man was this Jesus of Nazareth. Why has his life altered the course of history in the way that it has? How can His message help us?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Tim 1:7
I was an undergraduate student studying mathematics. I had kids when in college so I had to work full time hours while going to school full time. One day when I thought that there was no way I could finish and I felt as though it was all too much, I re-read these words and they finally sunk in. We should not fear the random paths our lives take as long as we put forth our maximum effort to live a faithful life. We have been offered the spirit of power through the sacrifice of Jesus. When we are going out of our minds He can help us have a ‘sound mind’. Let’s get a good head on our shoulders about our trials and just enjoy life.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Christ called those who follow his will, his friends. What an amazing statement. I don’t feel the need to remind myself of my many flaws. It is amazing that the God of Heaven could consider me His friend. He has laid down His life for me. Guilt is not the response He wants. He wants us to follow His example as much as possible. Let any feeling of insecurity or unworthiness spur us to action. Let us have faith in Jesus Christ that He can save. Then let us live as the saints spoken of in the New Testament.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
With his stripes I am healed! What a humbling message. He who was greater than all was humbled below all things to fulfill all righteousness. By His love and His sacrifice we will overcome death and hell. Through Him we can overcome this world and the petty problems that drag us down. We get caught up in the small stuff. I am convinced that he is not shaking his head in condescension when we struggle. When Mary and Martha wept over the death of Lazarus Jesus didn’t try and talk them out of their grief. He wept with them even though He knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He showed compassion on their weaknesses. So I feel he weeps with us when we weep and with His stripes we are healed.
“And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,” Luke 24:5,6
These were the words spoken to Mary by the angel. He is not here, but is risen! This is the message of Easter. Have faith in Him who is mighty to save. He is not a heartless, careless God who enjoys smiting us. He weeps with us but knows that this life is what we need to grow and become stronger. A life full of roses would not teach us as much. We wouldn’t grow as much. Remember the words he spoke. If you don’t know his words, then learn them. Follow Him! He will lead you and me through a life more full of peace. Faith in Him will abolish all fear and we can live in peace. Let His power fall upon you. He can calm the tempest in your heart. At the end of it all you will think “What manner of man is this”. Isaiah answers that question like this “His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The prince of Peace.” I testify that He will Change your life and your eternity if you will believe Him and follow Him for He is mighty to save.