By providing for the crowds, Jesus showed himself greater than a human magician who could just heal some individuals or turn some stones into bread. At the least, Jesus was a prophet like Moses or Elisha (vv. 13-21; Ex 16:14-18; 2 Kings 4:42-44). But by treading on the sea, Jesus now takes a role that the Hebrew Bible had reserved for God alone (Job 9:8; see also Ps 77:19; Hab 3:15; Davies and Allison 1991:504). Nevertheless, as in an earlier storm scene, Matthew is interested here in teaching us not only Christology but also about the requisite faith for disciples (Mt 8:26). Of all the disciples, Peter alone begins to walk, but Jesus regards even his faith as less than what a disciple should have.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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