Matthew 8:21-25
Mat 8:21 (KJB)
And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
This individual disciple wanted to follow Jesus. This is not one of the twelve but could be any of those who accompanied Jesus on His journeys. However, this disciple wanted to follow Jesus but on his own terms. He wanted to wait until every condition in his home was perfect. The problem here is that this man wanted to follow but he wanted to do it in his timing. His father was still alive and maybe he was old and the man wanted to continue to take care of him until he had died and then he would be freed up to follow. That is not how God calls disciples. (Mat 10:37 KJV) He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:37 gives the overriding principle of discipleship. There can be no dividing of allegiance. If one is going to follow Jesus, it must be done in His timing and on His terms. This is not to say that Jesus does not care about families but a disciple’s first love must be the Lord. When Jesus was on the cross, He committed His mother into the care of John and that is what we must do also. If we are to follow Jesus, then we are to commit those we are caring for into the hands of others. This verse is definitely not advocating divorce. If there is one who is called that is married, then the both of them would go to whatever field the Lord has chosen for them. There is no such thing as divorce to the glory of God.
Mat 8:22 (KJB)
But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Here Jesus counsels that disciple to follow Him. The words “Follow me” are in the Imperative Mood in the Greek making them a command. The last part of that verse is also a command. Jesus is telling this disciple that let those who are spiritually dead, bury the physically dead. The spiritually dead do not have a divine calling on them. Those whom the Lord Jesus makes alive through salvation have a divine calling on them and are to be ready to go wherever the Lord commands them. The second part of that verse can also give us a principle. Once we are in the kingdom, then we should remove ourselves from the cares of this world. What I mean by that is the goals we had before salvation such as wealth building or career building should be abandoned in light of the present calling of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let the world go on with its business and we are to busy about the Lord’s business. (2 Tim 2:4 KJV) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Mat 8:23 (KJB)
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
Jesus now gets into a ship to go from the eastern part of the Sea of Galilee where He was speaking to cross over to the other side. This trip is going to be another lesson in true discipleship for His twelve disciples.
Mat 8:24 (KJB)
And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
The word “behold” gives us an indication that this storm came up very suddenly and an interesting word is used here. The word in the Greek for “tempest” is “seismos” which denotes that this storm was so intense, it was like an earthquake or a great shaking had upset the sea and added another dimension of ferocity to this storm. The storm was so intense that it caused very rough seas and those seas had now covered the deck with water and it was probably so fierce that it looked to the disciples that the ship would probably sink. Now the majority of these were fishermen and they knew that storms would come up on the Sea of Galilee at a moment’s notice. This storm was different because it was not only waves but there was the shaking that accompanied it. The disciples were probably frightened by now and did not know what to do to keep the boat from sinking. Then we read that Jesus was fast asleep being tired from a long day. He was in the stern of the boat which was the hinder part. (Mark 4:38 KJV) And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? This shows the humanity of Jesus as He was fatigued in body from a long day and it tells us that he can identify with us when we are tired in body.
Mat 8:25 (KJB)
And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Then the disciples came to Him and saw Him sleeping and wakened Him out of His sleep and told Him of their dire situation that the boat was about ready to come apart and that would mean they would perish in the sea. Notice they came to Him and called Him Lord, recognizing that He could do something about this situation since they saw Him do much healing and other miracles. Maybe some just wanted Him to help bail out the boat. Those who were the fishermen among them knew what a storm of this intensity could do to a boat. This also the cry of the unsaved. There need not be a long drawn out prayer but a swift prayer knowing the consequences of dying unsaved. Nehemiah prayed short prayers pertaining to the need of the moment. (Neh 13:29 KJV) Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.