What command is evinced in the speech and actions of Jesus. His authority is universal over every realm of creation: nature, humanity, and the demonic. Nothing is beyond his power to control. Once we grasp this fact we discover him to be worthy of all honor and trust. His humanity is his condescension to serve our welfare. He demonstrates his almightiness to induce our confidence in him. He is deserving of our maximum awe and adoration.
The Calming of the Storm (vv23-27)
Jesus and the disciples set out to cross the lake. The weather seems to facilitate a smooth crossing. In weariness Jesus takes the opportunity to snatch a brief nap. His human nature requires refreshment. Asleep and inert there is no indication of the power he is able to exert. Sleep renders us vulnerable and defenseless in an emergency. In the posture of slumber Jesus resembles any ordinary man for he was indeed fully man.
Suddenly, and surprisingly, especially to astute fishermen with expertise in reading the weather conditions with a high degree of accuracy, a furious storm arose on the lake and threatened to overturn the disciples’ vessels. In the panic and fear of drowning the anxious friends of the Lord advise him of the crisis: “Lord save us! We’re going to drown!” There is some expectation of the exercise of his miraculous power but there is no sense of the safety that their passenger ensures simply through being with them. Accordingly, Jesus rebukes them of small faith and unnecessary fright. After the rebuke administered to his men the Lord manifests divine strength by rebuking winds and waves and restoring a serene surface to the lake and the abatement of wild winds.
There is dual revelation here. The Master of the men is Master over the forces of nature. They obey his word, perhaps accompanied by a commanding gesture. He can also calm the tempests that assail the mind and heart of frail human beings who appear to be drowning in trouble.
The Banishment of Demons (vv28-34)
Again, in this narrative two aspects of the power of the Lord Jesus are disclosed. Arriving at the other side of the lake two fearsome men accost him. They are a terror to the residents of that region. Their violence prohibits any approach and even a cautious passing-by at some distance. The men met with Jesus but their speech was prompted by an evil source.
These two wretched individuals were under the dominion of evil spirits. Their persons were deranged and dangerous though the wicked and malicious powers that indwelled them. How this possession of their souls occurred we cannot tell but they lived in an area of darkness and superstition. Through their voices the vile demons shouted at Jesus from their sense of terror at their ultimate doom as desperate enemies of God. “What do you want with us, Son of God. Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” The realm of darkness recognizes the authority of the Lord Christ. They foresee that Jesus will expel them from the minds and bodies they inhabit. They beg to take up residence in a herd of pigs. Jesus gives them a firm and ringing command that causes them to shiver and shove off. Go!
Our comprehension of the might of the Messiah is extended. He issues orders to devils and ordains that the oppressed should be healed and freed. There is no sphere of reality where Jesus does not rule. But still men do not receive him. They cannot recognize the benefits of his power and goodness and they bid him to depart. Unrepentant sinners banish Jesus from their region at eternal cost.