What sort of man is this, the even the winds and sea obey him?
This questions, on the heels of Jesus calming a storm, rings through the gospel of Matthew. It comes from those who know Him, not from a stranger. What sort of man is he? A good one? A powerful one, certainly. A wizard or a prophet? Self-serving or benevolent? Many of us call ourselves disciples of Jesus, but have we ever been stunned enough at Him to rock back on our heels and ask “What sort of man is this?”
This is a man who makes blind eyes see and crippled legs straight and strong. He cools and soothes feverish bodies and minds. A shriveled hand straightens and flexes under his touch, or even at a word. And a rotting corpse inhales and is made whole and alive, not undead, but living.
And He is the sort of man who would do these same miracles today. He is the sort of man who would make crippled hope strong again. He would soothe those minds and hearts fevered by temptation and bring them back to reason and reality. The blind eyes of a soul are made to see truth and know it for what it is. A shriveled marriage feels the circulation flow, it flexes, and has purpose and life again. And those who long ago committed their souls to the mortician quicken and live.
Every miracle Jesus did, every healing, was more than just a kindness to the needy (though it was never less). Each one sought to raise people’s eyes above mere humanitarian goodness to something greater: himself. We cannot lose ourselves in the activist Jesus or be wearied by the Sunday school Jesus, for if we do we have lost Jesus altogether.
“What sort of man is this?” is not just a question for those who have never met Jesus but one for everyone to ask. At every turn we will find out something more about what sort he is. It is never ending and always wondrous. Unless we stop asking, at which point all we’re left with is what little we know of him and even that soon starts to fade. Ask this question and let him answer it from the pages of scripture and in the wind and seas of your heart.
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