Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do their work in great waters. They have seen the deeds of Hashem, and His wonders in the watery deep. He spoke and raised the stormy wind and lifted its waves. They rise heavenward, they descend to the depths, their soul melts with trouble. They reel, they stagger like a drunkard, and all their wisdom is swallowed up. Then they cried out to Hashem in their distress, and He would take them out from their straits. He would halt the storm to restore calmness, and their waves were stilled. And they rejoiced because they were quiet, and He guided them to their desired boundary. Let them give thanks to Hashem for His kindness, and His wonders to the children of man. Let them exalt Him in the assembly of people, and praise Him in the session of the elders.
–Psalm 107:23-32 (Stone Edition Tanakh)
He went down to the boat, and his disciples went down with him. There was a great storm on the sea, to the point where the waves would cover the boat, but he was sleeping. His disciples approached him and woke him, saying, “Save us, our master. We are perishing!” He said to them, “Small ones in faith, why are you afraid?” He got up, reprimanded the winds and the sea, and there was a great silence. The men were amazed and said, “Who is he, then, that even the winds and the sea listen to him?”
–Matthew 8:23-27 (DHE Gospels)
I wonder if, at any point after Yeshua (Jesus) ended the storm, did the disciples think of the portion of Psalm 107 that I quoted above? When I read that psalm as part of my devotionals last Shabbat, I immediately thought of the passage from Matthew 8. But as I made the connection from earlier to later in the Bible, I wondered if the first century Jewish readers of the Gospel of Matthew, when coming upon the sequence where the Master caused the storm to cease…if they saw the relationship between these events in scripture and connected the acts of Jesus with the acts of Hashem, the God of Israel? Could this linkage have been intentional on Matthew’s part? Did he leave a rather obvious (if you’re a first century Jew) clue as to the Master’s identity and nature here to which we Christians, nearly twenty centuries later, would be oblivious?
If so, then it wouldn’t be the first time.
Last summer, I wrote a review of a sermon given by First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) Founder and President Boaz Michael that he presented some years earlier which he titled “Moses in Matthew”. You can read my review The Jewish Gospel, Part 1 and Part 2 for the details. But it seems to me, perhaps thanks to the Spirit of God (and hopefully not because of my own wishful thinking), that I have made one of those little links in scripture that are so “Jewish” and that further establish the Bible as a single, unified document. I believe this is another example that the Bible is the complete Word of God, a revelation that we can accept as a total and seamless gift, not something to be sliced and diced as Christianity sometimes does, so that the Bible artificially points to an earlier God and a later Jesus, as if the two have almost nothing to do with one another, as if the Old Testament and the New Testament form two separate plans of God in how He will be among His people, and as if God changed His mind on who He decided His people were to be.
God speaks to us from the Bible. The Spirit of God whispers to us as we read. Most of the time, we aren’t even conscious of His presence, but every so often, something “clicks” as it did for me last Shabbos.
May God continue to graciously open our eyes and ears and minds to His Word and reveal the face of Messiah to those of us who call ourselves disciples, and to all to cry out to God for mercy and compassion. May He calm our storms that we too may give thanks and rejoice, and that we might declare the Name of God as great among our assemblies.