Matthew 14:24. But the ship In which the disciples were; was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves, &c. A striking emblem of his church, in the sea of this world, tossed, as it often is, on the waves of affliction and trouble, and assailed by the contrary wind of persecution. It is worthy of notice here, 1st, That the disciples were now where Christ had sent them, and yet they met with this storm. Had they been flying from their Master and their work, as Jonah was when he was arrested by the storm, it would have been less surprising that they should be thus assaulted; but they had a special command from their Master to go to sea at this time, and were going about his work, and yet a storm overtakes them! We see, therefore, that Christ’s disciples may meet with troubles and afflictions in the way of their duty; and be sent to sea when their Master foresees a storm. They ought not, however, to take it unkindly; for what he does they know not now, but they shall know hereafter that Christ designs hereby to manifest himself with the more wonderful grace to them and for them. 2d, This storm did not attack them immediately on their setting out: they had got into the midst of the sea when it arose. We may have fair weather in the beginning of our course, and yet meet with storms before we arrive at the port we are bound for. Therefore let not him that girds on the harness boast as he that puts it off: after a long calm, expect some storm or other. 3d, It was a great discouragement to the disciples, that now they had not Christ with them, as they had formerly when they were in a storm: for though he was then asleep, he was soon waked, Matthew 8:24, but now he was at a distance from them. Thus Christ inures his disciples first to lesser difficulties, and then to greater, and so trains them by degrees to live and walk by faith, and not by sight. 4th, Though the wind was contrary, and they were tossed with waves; yet, being ordered by their Master to go to the other side, they did not tack about and come back again, but made the best of their way forward. Hereby we learn, that though troubles and difficulties may assault and annoy us in our duty, they must net drive us from it; but through the midst of them we must press forward.
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