When Jesus calmed the sea, it was more than a show of control over the weather. The turbulence of the sea was chaotic, a force never hardly to be controlled. Gods of the sea in the ancient world religions were powerful forces. In ancient Canaanite religion the goddess, Asherah, was the “walker of the sea”, the mother goddess and wife of El (the god most high but rarely mentioned or involved). Asherah was often worshipped in ancient Israel. Even in Greek mythology Poseidon is a powerful god that often does his own thing apart from the council of the other gods. The point is that the raging sea represented a dangerous and powerful force. Just as Jesus exorcised demons, now he was exorcising the “gods” or forces of nature. It was such an unusual display that his disciples, already familiar with Jesus display of power over demons and disease, are astounded and respond as such,

And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?” (Matthew 8:27 ESV)

McCheyne’s Bible Reading Plan: Dt 33-34, Ps 119:145-176, Is 60, Mt 8

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