Daily Devotions


Day 116

The Training of the Disciples

Text: Matthew 8 : 23 - 27

Jesus sought out disciples so that He could train and equip them for ministry! He had many lessons for them to learn. Let’s make a list of the things that He wanted them to master.

1. Obvious Lessons

There were obvious lessons that Jesus wanted His disciples to learn. The Sermon on the Mount alone (covering Matthew 5-7) would be indicative of the many lessons Jesus taught His disciples. The following may be highlighted.

a) A deeper knowledge of the Scriptures

b) A deeper understanding of God

c) A greater appreciation of the kind of life a true believer must exhibit

d) A more complete comprehension of prayer

2. Less obvious lessons

There were other less obvious lessons to be learned along the way. Let us consider some of them.

a) Depth of discernment

b) Deeper faith

c) Insights concerning the Identity of Jesus

d) Comprehension of Ministry

Whether stated explicitly or otherwise, the disciples were expected to learn all they could from their association with Jesus. When tested, as in the case of the unexpected storm in the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were expected to be able to respond appropriately.

Were the disciples surprised that they were tested in this unusual manner? Apparently not! What surprised them was what they discovered further concerning their Teacher! Every day with Him brought new surprises. This experience of being caught in a tempest in the Sea of Galilee brought new gasps of astonishment to the lips of the disciples. Who had ever heard of anyone mastering a storm by addressing it? Who would have thought that the winds and the waves would obey His will? Thus with bated breath, the disciples gazed at their Master with a new and profound sense of respect.

“So the men marveled, saying, ‘Who can
this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?'”
Matthew 8:27


The tendency to take things for granted is a peculiar problem with all mankind. The sense of wonder is soon muted because of sheer familiarity, until something new is experienced. Let us consider some of the “new” experiences the disciples had with reference to Jesus.

1. Enter Jesus, especially hailed by John the Baptiser

Would not the words of John the Baptiser, extolling the glory of Jesus have been sufficient? His words drew some to become disciples of Jesus. James and John, Andrew and Peter were among the first disciples who responded favourably.

2. Consider Jesus, the Rabbi Supreme

The teachings of Jesus were truly unique. He was skilled beyond compare! His knowledge, both vast and deep, should have compelled obedience.

3. Behold Jesus, the Miracle Worker

The miracles that Jesus performed were unequalled. No one had ever attempted what Jesus accomplished effortlessly. Lepers were healed. People were restored to complete health. Demons were cast out! Surely those miracles compelled worship!

4. Marveling at Jesus, the Master of the Elements

Yet, it took a storm to cause the disciples to realize just how much they had taken Jesus their Master for granted!

“Who can this be?”

This question must have been stated soto voce as the disciples trembled at how the winds and waves obeyed the words of Jesus instantaneously! The elements seemed to have recognized who it was who spoke to them! Didn’t the disciples know who He was? And they had been in His Presence day and night!

“That even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

There was surely only one answer to this rhetorical question! Jesus was no ordinary man! He was not just a great and outstanding teacher! He was more than just a gifted servant of God. He was all that and MORE!

It required great faith to recognize who Jesus really was! The leper apparently had understood Jesus better than they did. The Roman centurion had that special quality of faith that Jesus did well to recognize and commend. He was right to say that He had not found such faith in all of Israel, present company not excepted. The disciples did not possess this faith that Jesus wanted them to have! They must do more to deepen their faith.