Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.…
I. Many of my hearers may be just now in a FEARFUL NIGHT-STORM OF TROUBLE.
1. One is in the darkness of a mysterious providence.
2. Another is under a tempest of commercial disaster. He has lost "the rigging" of his prosperity; and his pride has come down as a top-sail comes down in a hurricane.
3. Another one is toiling with the oars against a head-sea of poverty.
4. The guiding rudder of a dear and trusted friend has been swept away by death.
5. Still another one is in a midnight of spiritual despondency, and the promise-stars seem to be all shut out under gloomy clouds. My friend A — is making a hard voyage, with her brood of fatherless children to provide for. Friend B — has a poor intemperate husband on board with her; and Brother C — 's little bark hardly rises out of one wave of disaster before another sweeps over it. There are whole boat-loads of disciples who are "toiling at rowing" over a dark sea of trouble.
II. THE HOUR OF THE CHRISTIAN'S EXTREMITY IS THE HOUR OF CHRIST'S OPPORTUNITY. At the right moment Christ makes His appearance. We do not wonder at the disciples' astonishment and alarm. But straightway Jesus speaks unto them, and in an instant their fears vanished and "the wind ceased." Now, good friends, who are breasting a midnight sea of trouble, open the eye of faith, and see that Form on the waves! It is not an apparition; it is not a fiction of priestly fancies. It is Jesus Himself! One who has been tried on all points as we are, and yet without sin. Christ comes to you as a sympathizing, cheering, consoling Saviour. His sweet assurance is, "Lo! I am with you. Fear not; I have redeemed thee." Receive Him into the ship. No vessel can sink or founder with Jesus on board. Let the storms rage, if God sends them. Christ can pilot you through. It is I! There may be a night coming soon on some of you, when heart and flesh shall fail you, and the only shore ahead is the shore of eternity. If Jesus is only in the bark, be not afraid. Like glorious John Wesley, you will be able to cry aloud in the dying hour, "The best of all is, God is with us!"
III. THE TEACHINGS OF THIS INSPIRING SCENE TO THOSE WHO ARE IN A MID-SEA OF CONVICTIONS OF SIN AND TROUBLINGS OF CONSCIENCE. The storm of Divine threatenings against sin is breaking upon you. You acknowledge that you are guilty. Alarming passages from God's Word foam up around your distressed and anxious soul. You cannot quell this storm, or escape out of it. Toiling at the oars of self-righteousness has not sent you a furlong nearer to the "desired haven." You have found by sore experience that sin gives no rest, and that your oars are no match against God's just and broken law. Friend! Listen! There is a voice that comes sounding through the storm. Hearken to it! It is a voice of infinite love, "It is I!" "Whosoever believeth in Me shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life." If you will only admit this waiting, willing, loving Jesus into your tempest-tossed soul, the "wind will cease." Christ can allay the storm. Receive Him. Do all He asks, surrender the helm to Him, and you can then feel as the rescued disciples did when they knelt down in the drenched bottom of their little boat, and cried out, "Truly this is the Son of God!"
(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.