Our Reactions, But God!
Matthew 8:23-9:8
(read scripture during singing)

What we are going to do: 1) Look at three things Jesus did What were the three things? Miracles) 2) Look at how people
reacted to Jesus 3) How He reacted to each group 4) Think about our opportunities to react to Jesus.
8:23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake,
with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save
us! We’re going to drown!” 26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and
rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. 27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?”
they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”
28 When Jesus arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes, two men who were possessed by
demons met him. They came out of the tombs and were so violent that no one could go through that area. 29 They began
screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s
appointed time?” 30 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding in the distance. 31 So the demons begged, “If you
cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 “All right, go!” Jesus commanded them. So, the demons came out of the
men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. 33
The herdsmen fled to the nearby town, telling everyone what happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the entire
town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.
9:1 Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. 2 Some people brought to him a paralyzed
man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”
3 But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God?” 4 Jesus
knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Is it easier to
say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 6 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on
earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” 7
And the man jumped up and went home! 8 Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised
God for giving humans such authority.
TABLE QUESTION: (play a game) Jesus did something for a group, then two people, then one person. Come up with
one word that describes what all three of these groups desired: what does everyone want?) Peace
Follow-up question: What was keeping each group form having peace: Nature – a storm, Demons – spiritual attack,
Paralysis – Physical (and some sin)
TABLE QUESTION: Discuss any lack of peace you have endured because of nature, spiritual attack, or Physical
That should set the stage for sort of putting ourselves into these three stories. Let’s go!
PAUSE: Laotians > We like personal application, they were “What? This man had that much power?”

1) Miracle 1 8:23-27 Describe the event
2) How did the disciples react initially and after the event?
Storm on the Sea of Galilee, which is very typical. It is 600 feet below sea level and they occur because of the geographic
conditions. They can be sudden and violent. This one was, even to the seasoned fishermen. They thought they were
going to drown so they woke Jesus up. (Boat 26×7.5 ft) After the waves were suddenly calmed they say, “Who is this
What was their state of mind? The admitted they were powerless over the storm. They could not manage the situation.
(Step 1 AA)
Describe their reaction: Shock, amazement, maybe scared. And they did not really know/appreciate who he was.
Describe what Jesus did: Calmed a major storm immediately with a “rebuke.” He gave them peace.
Further analysis:
What did he “rebuke” them for? Not for waking him up, but for their “little faith.”
Do you ever have “bouts of faith?” What’s going on?
BUT GOD: What? He is faithful, he’s there, he loves us, we are his children.
BUT GOD – had much more for them to do! What did these guys end up doing with their lives? Apostles – reached the
TABLE QUESTION: How have you been “tossed by the waves”? But still (tough one) what might God have for you to
do after He’s calmed your storm?

3) Miracle 2 8:28-34 Describe the event
4) How did the demons react? How did the townspeople react?
3 Demons in two men. They were powerless against the demons. Conversation, they knew a lot about Jesus and they
were scared of Jesus. Go into pigs and “die.”
4 Are demons real? Yes, Jesus had a conversation with them.
They had a faith statement:
– They had faith James 2:19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the
demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.
– They believed in God and the deity of Christ.
– They believed in the reality of a future judgement.
– They believed they could talk to Jesus – what we call prayer.
– They knew Jesus had power of them to do whatever he wanted to.

4 The townspeople? Luke 8:34-37 When the herdsmen saw it, they fled to the nearby town and the surrounding
countryside, spreading the news as they ran. 35People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered
around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been freed from the demons. He was sitting at Jesus’ feet, fully clothed and
perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 36Then those who had seen what happened told the others how the demon-
possessed man had been healed. 37And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave
them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them.
BUT GOD: What would the two men have said? I was enslaved by ….
What demonic forces/approaches are out there to enslave us? The fallen world (Satan is the current prince) real demons,
demons telling us bad things about ourselves, demons telling us things that keep us agitated, demons enticing us with
things that hurt us, demons telling us “it’s all good,” you don’t need anything, demons telling us we should be angry, we
should get even.
BUT GOD: The two men > What do you think they did regarding Jesus with their lives after this? Their
opportunity was huge in their sphere of influence. “Wow, they really are different.”
Truth: I’ve not seen you high and out of your mind, but I have seen a few friends I’ve made sober and then
high/homeless. I much prefer seeing you sober, and living out what God has for you to do in your sphere of influence for
yourself and for him. On a good trajectory!
BUT GOD: What might the townspeople have said?
They were freaked out. The question is, did they “shake off” the weird incident (that must have been a dream, did that
really happen – naw) or did they listen to the two men? We don’t know what they did.
THE QUESTION from this miracle is: How will I respond to Jesus after my next trying incident?
Like demons, I know truth about God but I will remain opposed to His way to live the good life. Like the townspeople?
Get through it and get back to “my” life. Get thru rehab and … Listen to a sermon for the 10,000 th time but not change
from my distain of people who are not like me, don’t understand the bible like I do.
What will your trajectory be?

5) Miracle 3 9:1-8 Describe the event step by step.
6) How did the religious leaders, the crowd, and the healed man respond to this?
5 Faithful men took action. The brought their friend, who was physically powerless, to Jesus. Real faith is a faith with
action. Jesus forgave the paralyzed man of his sins. The religious leaders said to themselves that Jesus had blasphemed,
thinking he was God. Jesus knew, called them out for evil thoughts. Then Jesus “put it to them” with his which is easier
statement. Let me prove my power. Get up, get your mat, and go home. The man did. It scared and amazed the crowd.
They praised God.
6 The response of the religious leaders? They rejected Jesus outright. Why? He didn’t fit their narrative as they were the
guardians of the truth. (Beware of guardians of the truth.). He had more power than them.
6 The response of the crowd? Fear > Praise > Luke 5:26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they
praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”

6 The response of the man? Jumped up (and act of faith and belief) What if you were paralyzed and someone you did
know told you to get up and go home? Luke 5:25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up
his mat, and went home praising God.
THE QUESTION from this miracle is: Which character are you in this story?
– A friend who has faith in God and takes another friend in need to God.
– A religious know-it-all who tries to box God in because it doesn’t fit what you think “the bible says.”
– A person in the crowd, amazed, but not sure what’s happening. (i.e. with these church people, much less God)
– A non-religious know-it-all person in the crowd who knows God isn’t real because …..
– A “paralyzed” person, a person in need, a person who is stuck, immobilized by ……


We have lots of choices of who to follow?
We’ve had lots of people in our lives to follow, good and bad.
We’ve had lots of ideas presented to us in our lives.
We may have tried lots of things to deeply satisfy us like …..
We’ve had lots of thoughts and feelings.
We’ve all spent time on cruise control.
STEP 1 We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

So, when something bad happens > Try this > admit you are powerless and just follow Jesus.
Better yet, don’t wait for something bad to happen > admit you are powerless and follow Jesus. HE IS POWERFUL.