Chrysostom, who lived in the fourth century, was a highly respected preacher in his day…here are some of his thoughts on Matthew 14 (which we will be looking at at NFC this Sunday).
The disciples are tossed on the waves again. They are in a storm, fully as bad as the previous one. Gently and by degrees he excites and urges the disciples on toward greater responsiveness, even to the point of bearing all things nobly. Whereas in the previous storm they had him with them in the ship, now they were alone by themselves. Even when he was asleep in the boat in the previous situation, he was ready to give them relief from danger. But then he was present to them.
Now he is leading them into a greater degree of challenge. Now he is not even present to them. He has departed. In midsea he permits a storm to arise. This was all for their training, that they might not look for some easy hope of preservation from any earthly source. He then allows them to be tossed by the storm all night! This had the purpose of awakening their stony hearts in a most complete way. This is how Jesus dealt with the nature of their fear, which the rough weather and the timing had produced. He cast them directly into a situation in which they would have a greater longing for him and a continual remembrance of him.
When was the last time you were “cast into a storm”? What was your response?