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A Matter of Trust


"18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. 19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” 20 Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 22 But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”

23 When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. 25 And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" 26 He *said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. 27 The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"
Good Morning my beloved,
We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my honor and great privilege to have you here with us today. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website, and social media platforms with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness and commitment to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. People all around the world are responding to God's Word, with more and more coming to Christ. This is so amazing! 

Every day, more and more pastors are coming under scrutiny for speaking God's truth to a culture that's literally offended by everything, and convinced there's no such thing as absolute truth, especially biblical truth. Pastors are being silenced and "cancelled" for speaking the truth in God's Word. Therefore, we ask you to join us in prayer that God will continue to raise up faithful teachers of the Word and grant those of who teach the Word of God the courage and boldness to speak the truth in ministry, as we continue increasing face of adversity in the coming days ahead. 

The Apostle Paul warned us this time was coming in II Timothy 4:3-5 when he said "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."


As Jesus went about His earthly ministry, He often attracted large multitudes of people who followed Him for a variety of reasons. Some were drawn to His teaching, others to His miracles. Only a few wanted to become His disciples. Jesus never misled anyone in His teaching, discipleship comes at a cost. Maybe Jesus isn't asking you to risk everything but I believe He’s asking you to risk something.

As Christians, we all love our families, our church members, coworkers, and our neighbors. And for them, we would do just about anything to help them when they are in need. In following Jesus, He is asking us to trust Him enough to be willing to risk ourselves for others who are in need. How far might you trust Jesus and be willing to risk yourself for others today?

Unfortunately, many Christians become complacent and are comfortable remaining in the boxes they’ve created for themselves. They regularly attend church, they tithe and sing the worship songs to show how much they love Jesus. They show up for church meetings and may even attend a weekly Bible study. In other words, they've checked all the Jesus boxes. 

Christ shed His blood and died for you and me, His love for us cost Him something. Shouldn't our love for Him cost us something? I find it surprising about the way some Christians have responded to the needs of others. What does it mean to trust in Jesus? What does our willingness to step outside our comfort zone and risk something to help others say about our trust in Him?

He gives us the answer in John 15:13, Jesus said "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

Let us pray

Heavenly Father,

Father, we thank You for Your Word. We are grateful for our time together in Your Word and to be in worship of You. We ask that You would fill our hearts with joy and that You would bring the truths to bear upon hearts, transforming our lives into the image of Christ. We pray that You would soften hearts so that no one would walk away today without knowing Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, in Your grace and mercy grant it them today. We ask and pray this in Christ's name, for His sake and Your glory.

Today's Message: A Matter of Trust 

As we continue our study of the Gospel of Matthew, we've been looking at Matthew chapter 8. I have frequently mentioned there is a cost to discipleship. In following Jesus we must be willing to walk away from everything and everyone that care about. 

Prior to the Covid pandemic, no one could imagine, much less comprehend a time of complete government control, that we would be ordered to shut down our businesses, canceling social events, forced to stay in our homes, away from family and friends, prohibited to worship in church, reliant solely upon the government. Since that time the world has been witnessing a lot of "firsts." And this is only the beginning!
While much is uncertain about what’s happening in this world, one thing is clear, we need not look any further than to the Scripture which clearly describes in detail that we now see taking shape in our world in Revelation 13 as the period of when the "Mark of the Beast" will come and "no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark."
All the events we are witnessing, the disruption of our society are bringing us closer to the tribulation, paving the way for the coming one world government. The arrival of the Anti-Christ, a cashless society, emerging technologies, increased lawlessness, disease that is virulent and devastating and food shortages, going to the grocery store unable to buy food.
Yet, these things are seemingly going unnoticed, and ranking low on the lists of concerns. People are believing the lies they hear and are depending on the government to keep them healthy and alive rather than truths in God's Word. We have been told that lockdowns, quarantines, face masks and "flattening the curve," would take two to four weeks and now 2 years later, vaccines and booster after booster will return our society to normalcy.
Sadly, fewer and fewer pastors have the courage to stand up and speak the truth. Powerful forces are at work in our world, all led by Satan himself, and until they have accomplished their end goal, which is to subject the entire world to the slavery.
It's not difficult to see the end is rapidly approaching, Scripture calls us to be prepared and ready. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you do not have a saving relationship with Him, I encourage you to consider it today. In John 8:36, Jesus said "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." Jesus Christ's return is imminent, it's going to happen whether you're ready or not!
Open your Bibles with me if you will to the eighth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew. Today, we again have the great privilege of our Lord's illustration for us the cost of discipleship. He also continues to demonstrate His authority, His power and His deity through what can only be explained as supernatural. Jesus is demonstrating that He has the power and authority to do what what mere men cannot. 
I invite you to follow along with me as I read to you verses eighteen to twenty-seven. Let us prepare our hearts for the Spirit of God has to say to each of us. Matthew chapter 8:18-27.  
"Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea. Then a scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." Jesus *said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." Another of the disciples said to Him, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." But Jesus *said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead."

When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" He *said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?"

Like today, many people followed Jesus, they were attracted to His magnetism, His teaching, yet something kept them from genuine conversion. As we study our text, I believe we'll see what it was.
Let's begin with verse 18, "Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side of the sea." As you will recall Jesus and the disciples were on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee and the crowds were becoming massive. He had been preaching and healing for some time and He was experiencing pressures from the crowds that were not necessarily in the plan of God. His physical body was growing weary. He needed time for prayer, for meditation and rest. So He commanded the disciples to depart to the other side. 
In chapter 4 of Mark's parallel account, he tells us that "Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him." The first man that we meet in our text was so interested, we read in verse 19 "Then a scribe came and said to Him, "Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go." Now the scribes were the highly educated authorities in the law. They were not followers of the teachers, were the teachers, the ones who had the official sanction in the Pharisees. Generally speaking they were the ones who joined the Pharisees in their opposition to Jesus. So for a scribe to approach Him and call Him "teacher" was a tremendous statement of affirmation and to say "I will follow You wherever You go," indicated his eagerness, his dedication and commitment. But Jesus wasn’t so eager. 
In a rather odd statement, we see in verse 20, "Jesus *said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." In other words, Jesus was saying even wild animals have comfort, they have a place to live, something that I don’t have. Jesus didn’t have any worldly possessions, or personal comforts. Because Jesus knows the hearts of men, He knew this man only wanted to add Jesus to his present lifestyle. And Jesus didn’t have any of those thing to offer him and wasn't willing to cash in on a superficial momentary commitment, He wanted a genuine commitment to follow Him. 
Jesus knowing what was in the heart of this man, had no faith in his faith. In fact, in the parable of the sower, He classified this type of person when He said, "They have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary." He knew this scribe was merely fascinated, by His teaching and his miracles, his faith was unstable. He was unwilling to pay the price that has to be paid, the basic cost of discipleship, a willingness to forsake everything. 
This is in stark contrast to the evangelism we see today, we want to make it as easy as possible, so everybody can get in on the deal. We water down and sugarcoat the Gospel message, Jesus didn't do that! He made it hard to keep them out, if you’re going to follow Me, you must be willing to give everything up, and make a genuine commitment. Jesus' invitation to salvation is not very inviting, is it? Today, we offer people the moon and the stars to follow Jesus and when things become difficult they're gone, they bail out. We think we're doing God's work, but that's not what Jesus is looking for! The whole world is not worthy to be His disciple, only a few. True disciples do not have an easy, comfortable life, they're hated by men, they suffer, and they face persecution. 
In John 15, He said, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also." So don’t be surprised when they kill you, and think they’re doing God’s service. There is a steep price to pay to be a Christian, you have to "take up your cross."
This first man, the scribe didn't gain entrance into the kingdom because he wanted to add Jesus to his already established life, he wanted personal comfort. And Jesus refused him. In verse 21 we meet the second person. "Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." Jesus had a lot of people following Him of all different levels. This person was not a teacher but a learner, just another one of His followers. 
A cursory read of this verse this sounds like that is a reasonable request. Certainly a proper response from someone whose father had just died. It sounds as though this man knowing He moves around a lot and is asking for Jesus to allow him some time to get his father in the ground before following Him. By the way, the Jews used to teach you needed to mourn for thirty days when your father and mother died. It was the responsibility of a son, in his final act of devotion to his parents, to make sure that he took care of their burial. 
However, we need to understand, in that time and even in contemporary times in the Middle East, that was a colloquial phrase, characteristic of the language spoken, meaning that my father is still very much alive; and I need to stick around and fulfill my responsibility until he passes on and at that time, I will receive my inheritance. So what this man is asking Jesus is "Can I just hang around until my father dies and I receive my inheritance?"
When we understand the meaning of this man's request, Jesus' response isn't unreasonable at all, in fact, it's appropriate. Verse 22 "But Jesus *said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead." It's a proverb like the earlier one about the foxes and birds. "Let the dead bury their dead." Obviously, He's talking about allowing those who are spiritually dead to bury the physically dead. The physically could not possibly bury their dead. This man wanted to wait for the wealth that he had coming to him. Jesus was saying you have been called to the kingdom of God, so let the secular world take care of the world’s passing affairs. That's a big difference, it makes much more sense when you understand what is truly being said here. Again, Scripture doesn't tell us what happened, but we can imagine somewhere between verses 22 and 23 this man left, he went away sorrowful because the price is too high. He wasn't willing to give up his inheritance to follow Jesus. 
I find it interesting that in chapter 9 of Luke's account, we learn there was a third man which Matthew doesn't mention here. You don't need to turn there, I'll just read that to you. "Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home." But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Again, Jesus responds with another proverb this one dating back to 800 B.C. that originated with a man named Hesiod. What He’s saying is you can't plow straight moving forward, if you're constantly looking backward. In other words, you have to be willing to let go of what was. Jesus knew that if he went back being under the dominion of his parents, in their emotional pleas they'd talk him out of giving everything up to follow Him. All throughout His teaching, Jesus reiterated this same principal over and over and over again. 
In Matthew chapter 19, he gives us the story of the Rich Young Rule. "And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." Then he *said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man *said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property."
There's a lot of people like that today, they want to follow Christ while holding onto everything they now have and time after time, Jesus refuses to allow them to do that. Jesus wants us to capture this truth, those He calls who wish to follow Him must place their trust in Him by putting our faith into action. An authentic relationship with Jesus is more valuable than anything we now have. It's more satisfying than a cold glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day. In fact, He is better than anything this world has to offer! 

Following Jesus involves a serious commitment and He tells us to count the cost. That which costs nothing is worth nothing. Only those who carefully count the costs and are willing to give it all up are worthy of the kingdom of God. He's talking about more than mere material possessions, He's talking about an absolute surrender. It's important to note that Jesus' disciples were not able to retain cherished sins, the privilege of keeping earthly treasure or make any demands in order to follow Him. Jesus pulls no punches, it no uncertain terms, without reservation it's all or nothing!  
J.C. Ryle, an English evangelical Bishop once said "The saddest road to hell is the one that runs under the pulpit, past the Bible, and through the middle of warnings and invitations." What an astounding truth.
In verse 23 we read that "When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him." I'd you to notice the end of verse, "His disciples followed Him." I believe that's significant. We know that Jesus got in the boat and His disciples followed. We also know from both Mark and Luke He had already selected the Twelve, so it's safe to imagine that some of of them were in the boat with Him. There has been some degree of debate about this because the term "His disciples" is very broad, the text doesn’t really tell you anything more than that. Some claim that from Scripture, we know that there were believers, a general term and then there were disciples, who were His students. I do not believe we can necessarily make that apply here. It doesn't fit here in that context. The word used for disciple is "mathētḗs," a learner. It is from the Greek verb "manthánō," which means universally equivalent to hear. The word in itself is not an indication of anything except they were listening.
In chapter 5, in the Sermon on the Mount, let's look at verse 1 which says "When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him." Many people think this refers to the Twelve. However, because they already believed it can’t be a message on salvation and we know that the Sermon on the Mount is a message on salvation, which implies His hearers may not necessarily believe, their commitment is undetermined at this point.
Allow me to draw your attention back to verse 21 of our text today for a moment, it says "Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." As we discussed earlier, the implication is this man didn't follow Him, he just left and didn’t follow Christ. Yet, he was called a "disciple." So allow me to put it another way, all of you who are here with us today are sitting under the teaching, you're interested. If you weren't you would likely not be joining us in this study. Some of you are learning, you're enjoying it. Others of you are rejecting it. And, there are probably some of you who haven’t made your decision yet. But, all of you are subjecting yourself to what I say, you're learning, therefore you're disciples, even though some of you may believe it, while others may reject my teaching. 
In Matthew 10, Jesus said "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved." We can assume that He had Judas in mind because Judas didn’t endure to the end. They were all called disciples but their commitment to Jesus has not yet been determined. They followed Jesus; they were curious and they listened but we know that Judas was not committed, he betrayed Him.
Let me give you one more , bear with me. In John 6, "So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him." In other words, you must accept all of Me, unless you’re willing to affirm My complete lordship in your life, you cannot be My disciple, you cannot enter My kingdom and you have not eternal life.
Now look at verses 66-68 "As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life." Many of "His disciples" withdrew, they walked away. And Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" The twelve were convinced, they stayed, they all remained. With the exception of Judas, who believed but not necessarily in the fullest sense.
So His disciples were in the boat with Him, but the text doesn’t signify anything specific. Then verse 24, "And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep." The Sea of Galilee, also called Lake Tiberias, is small, it's just a lake. By the way, in the Old Testament it's name was Sea of Chinnereth. It's bounded by hills, situated in northeast Israel and is about thirteen miles long by eight miles at it's widest point, which is 608 feet below sea level, it is one of the lowest-lying bodies of water on earth. The Jordan Valley is below sea level, which goes to the Dead Sea which is over a thousand feet below sea level and it rises to the Sea of Galilee.
So there's the Mediterranean Sea, and Mount Hermon that rises to 9,200 feet, then you have a drastic drop down to 608 feet below sea level. When the cold winds of the north come over those mountains and collide with the warm air where the Sea of Galilee is, it's very common that without any warning, it creates storms. Our text says "a great storm" or "tempest" in some translation, which in the Greek is the word "seismos," it means a shaking. So for whatever reason, God began to shake the earth and the water reacted. 
We know that "behold" is a statement of exclamation. As we said earlier, storms were common, but this one took them by surprise, it was a great storm, the word "megas," meaning huge or mighty. Their small boat was covered up by the waves, so we can imagine how intense it must have been and then it says "but Jesus Himself was asleep." The winds are howling, the sea is raging, tossing their boat to and fro, and Jesus is sleeping. The Creator of the universe is asleep, while boat is filling up with water! That's just great! 
For Jesus to be able to sleep through this, tells us He was very tired. It shows His humanness. It also tells us something more, something much deeper, He had such complete trust in His Father, He was able to rest peacefully, even while being surrounded by chaos. I believe this speaks loudly to us today! When we face difficult situations, we panic, which shows we do not have complete trust in our Father's care. There was not the presence fear or panic in Jesus, He slept in the care of God.
Verse 25 says "And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" I believe this implies they must have done everything they could to take care of things but when they realized it was more than they could handle, they woke Him up. From the end of the verse, it's safe to say they were panicking, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!" In other words, in desperation "Wake up! Hello, we’re drowning here, don't You even care?" Why are we so fearful? I'll tell you why, a lack of faith. We don't trust that God will do what He said He would do, and this is provide and care for us. Jesus trusted Him implicitly and He slept peacefully, even in the midst of chaos. By the way, if you're a Christian being fearful is a sin.
 Let's look at verse 26 "He *said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
Jesus said "Why are you afraid," it the same word used in Revelation 21 which says "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." The Greek word for cowardly is "deilós," which means fearful. It you trust that God cares about you and you believe that He can handle any situation you face, that’s all you need to know. So what's there to be afraid of?
It has been my experience, God brings us to desperation to get our attention. We tend cry to God in desperation when we have exhausted our human resources, with no one or nowhere left to turn. I've seem Him use health, financial and even tragedy. I'll tell you one thing, in each of those situations, He got my full attention! Salvation is the act of a desperate sinner crying out in hopeless, to which God responds. 
I love this next verse, verse 27. "The men were amazed, and said, "What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" They already witnessed Him performing many miracles for lepers, the sick and paralyzed, yet they didn’t think He had the power to calm the storm. How is it that we can see the demonstration of God's power in others situations, but when it comes to our circumstances, we think Him to be incapable? Because when it comes right down to it, we lack faith. We have a distrust in God’s ability to handle our problems. It is any wonder why Jesus said in Luke 17, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you."
In Closing...
We have seen for ourselves the mighty works of the Lord, this same Jesus who can conquer disease; who raises the dead and who can handle the greatest storms of life. This same Jesus who lives in you
and yet we too doubt His power. Have we forgotten the psalmist's words of Psalm 46? "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride." 
What’s more fearful than any storm we face here on earth?  To realize you're standing in the presence this same Jesus Christ, the living God, Who will one day come and call us to Himself. Peter said "Depart from me, for I’m a sinful man, O Lord." Job said "I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." John fell at His feet like a dead man. Daniel fell on his face and he began to shake and quiver. I imagine that you and I were to stand in His presence, we would be so overwhelmed with holiness, with terrifying awesomeness. O' to be standing in the presence of living God.
May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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