Truth Taught- Jesus proves to His disciples that He is the Son of God
Our text today is a passage that we must be careful to guard against a humanistic interpretation. What I mean is because we are self-centered by nature our first impulse is to conclude that when we are in the storms of life Jesus will come to us. When we are afraid and the waves are encompassing us and things are outside of our control Jesus will come to our aid. For God’s people, those things are true but that is not what this text teaches, it’s not why this passage is here. It teaches something far greater. If we settle for a man centered teaching we will miss the surpassing riches of this passage.
The passage before us perhaps more than any other passage caused the disciples to conclude correctly who Jesus is. At the end of our text for today, the disciples did not conclude, oh how great it is to be a disciple because Jesus cares for our needs. This was the crowd’s conclusion and is why they were out to make Jesus their king. They wanted the stuff Jesus could give them. So, if we settle on a humanistic interpretation we are closer to the crowd’s view of Jesus than we are to the true meaning of this passage.
Who do you say Jesus is?
So far in Matthew’s Gospel we have various opinions on the subject of who Jesus is…some said Jesus was simply a miracle worker and they wanted to see more. Show us another sign, they said. Others asked, could this be the Messiah? However, they did not follow Him. Herod in his guilt and sin when he heard of Jesus’ miracles deduced that He was John the Baptist who had come back from the grave. Who is Jesus? This is a vital question.
If we are to be saved from our sin we must conclude correctly who Jesus is. We must have the right answer if we are to believe rightly. We cannot simply use the name Jesus referring to a man in history and claim we know Him. We must have the person of Christ correct. This is one of the most vital doctrines for which our salvation hangs in the balance.
Who is Jesus? This question is extremely important.
Jesus or the Son of God was spirit before His incarnation. He has always existed as God, there was never a time when the Son of God did not exist. He is the second Person of the Trinity. So, we conclude that those teaching Jesus was created or began His existence at His birth are saying He is not God, because God has no beginning and no end. If Jesus is not God, He can’t save anyone.
Let’s prove Jesus is the Son of God from the Bible-
John 1:1 (ESV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 (ESV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 (ESV)
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
John 20:28 (ESV)
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
Romans 9:5 (ESV)
5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
Titus 2:13 (ESV)
13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
Hebrews 1:8 (ESV)
8 But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
2 Peter 1:1 (ESV)
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
Jesus is God…Why does this fact matter?
– Only someone who is infinite could bear the full penalty for all the sins of all who would believe. Someone not divine could only pay for his own sin and no other’s.
-Salvation is from the Lord. No human or created being such as an angel can save. Only God Himself can save us.
– Only someone who is fully God could be the Mediator between God and man.
While Jesus is fully God He had to also be fully man. This is the miracle of the incarnation. The Son of God was born of the Virgin Mary and took on human flesh. He never surrendered His deity although for a time did not exercise His full deity.
Why was it necessary for Jesus to be fully human?
– Jesus is our representative and as a human obeyed God for us.
Romans 5:18–19 (ESV)
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
– Jesus had to be human to be our Substitute Sacrifice. If Jesus was not human He could not have died for us. He could not have died as our substitute
Hebrews 2:16–17 (ESV)
16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
A view of Jesus less than being fully divine and fully human is inadequate and belief in a false Jesus like that is no salvation. Jesus is the Son of God and Son of Man.
It was after this miraculous event that the disciples saw without any doubt that Jesus is divine the only Son of God full of grace and truth.
While, it seems the rest of the world in Jesus’ day answered the question wrong, He worked with His disciples giving them eyes to see and ears to hear and while they didn’t get everything they did understand supernaturally that Jesus is the Son of God.
The context of our passage is that immediately after the feeding of the 5000 late in the afternoon, Jesus tells His disciples to go on ahead in the ship to Capernaum and He would dismiss the crowd and later catch up with them somewhere.
Matthew 14:22–33 (ESV)
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
We see their wonderful conclusion given by God that Jesus is the Son of God. What events in our text today did God use to show these followers that Jesus is, in fact, His Son? With that proposition lets look together and see.
1. The Ability of the Son of God to Obey His Father Perfectly
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
It was this time after the feeding of the 5000 that the crowd was very adamant about taking Jesus and making Him their King. It seems, as one reads the various accounts that the disciples were also, somewhat caught up in this make Jesus King and He’ll give us all we ever hoped for mentality.
Jesus shows us that He is not having any of this. He is adamant about doing the Father’s will and is not out to promote Himself.
So Jesus acted promptly. 22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him “Made” doesn’t quite carry the force of the word; it is “compelled the disciples to get into the boat.” They heard the talk among the masses, and liked what they heard. Perhaps they had joined the crowd in appealing to Jesus to go ahead and institute an earthly kingdom.
Here, Jesus taught His disciples two important truths:
First, Jesus Christ had a divine mission and no amount of persuasiveness could alter His course.
John 5:30 (ESV)
30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
His unwavering obedience to the Father’s plan showed that He is the Son of God sent by the Father to accomplish a divine mission.
John 4:34 (ESV)
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
No mere human could obey the Father as Jesus did. His stubborn obedience came from the fact that He was Himself divine.
That’s why Jesus could pray…
John 17:4–5 (ESV)
4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
This level of obedience is only attainable by the Son of God.
Secondly, God’s way of redemption is never multiple choice. There was only one way to redeem sinners. Christ could not falter. He could not take short cuts. Even when five to ten thousand people thought otherwise, Jesus diligently stood by the Father’s purpose. He perfectly did the Father’s will, culminating in obedience that led to His God-satisfying death on the cross on behalf of sinners. The whole of our eternity rests on Christ’s resolute diligence in doing the Father’s will.
Only the Son of God could obey the Father’s will, perfectly.
You know, our goal is to obey the Father as well and we should seek His power in doing so. However, we will always fall infinitely short. We must guard against being puffed up or in some way thinking we could be good enough to merit God’s favor. Jesus is the Son of God and obeys the Father perfectly for us!!
As we read about our Lord’s amazing and infinite obedience we too should this is the Son of God.
2. The Authority and Power of the Son of God Over Creation
24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
The disciples, the ex-fishermen were rowing and rowing and rowing. After they set out from shore a storm kicked up and they were in trouble. They were too far away to turn back and every cycle of the oars only inched them a little closer to their destination. The storm was bad. Many accounts remain about the fierce and quick storms that come about on the Sea of Galilee. They were right in the middle of one now. Matthew tells us that it was the forth watch of the night which means it was between 3-6am. They had been rowing for hours, probably since the evening the day before. They have been at it all night. They were very tired and very afraid. Then to their surprise a ghost appears above the waves. Oh, great now what! Perhaps it was the ghost come to collect them after they die?
Right then, Jesus yells out, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
I who? They recognized the voice and immediately understood it was Jesus.
3. The Authority of the Son of God to Save Us
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Why would Peter do this? He remembered the time when Jesus was with them on the boat and the storm kicked up and they thought they were going to drown. He remembered how Jesus commanded the sea and the sea obeyed Him.
command me to come to you on the water.”
Then after he started, like any of us would do, it occurs to us what we are doing. Have you ever done something without thinking through it and after you start only then do you realize what you’re doing?
Matthew 8:23–27 (ESV)
23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Peter was so bold to even begin this walk to Jesus on the water in the midst of the storm.
Jesus knows the condition of our faith. He knows that on our best days our faith can waver. He knows that we all are, Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?
Jesus has the authority and is the only One qualified to be our Savior.
Peter cries out to Jesus saying, Lord, save me!
Have you cried out to Jesus to save you?
Only the Son of God can save.
4. The Right Response and the Right Answer
32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
After witnessing all these amazing things the disciples rightly conclude… Truly you are the Son of God.
They answered the question correct. They were not like the others who speculated that maybe this is the Messiah or maybe this is John the Baptist or maybe this is whomever, no they knew without a doubt that this Man standing before them is the Son of God, divine in every way.
Then they also responded correctly, the text says they worshipped Him. If Jesus was not the Son of God it would be a sin to worship Him. But because He is and the disciples are thoroughly convinced they rightly worship Him.
Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary
A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles
A Gospel of Matthew by France
Matthew by Craig Bloomberg
Matthew by Doriani
Matthew by Charles Price
Matthew by Leon Morris