THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD
Dr. Chuck DeVane, Pastor
Lake Hamilton Baptist Church
Hot Springs, Arkansas
September 10, 2017
22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
— Luke 8:22-25
I don't always watch beer commercials, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. The company is now into its second generation of advertisements featuring "the most interesting man in the world." But not only did they get it wrong by replacing the old guy with the new amigo, they actually missed the mark entirely. The most interesting man in the world does not sell beer. He makes wine, though, and does billions of other interesting and wonderful things.
On the day described by Luke in this passage, our Lord Jesus Christ showed some of His most interesting characteristics and powers. Real life is always better than commercial television. When Jesus calmed this real life storm with just a few cool words, His disciples were so amazed they cried out, "Who then is this?" Simply put, He is Jesus, the most interesting man in the world.
The Most Interesting Man in the World
Heroes have to have certain character traits, not the least of which is grace under pressure. On a last second Super Bowl winning touchdown drive, cool Joe Montana was cracking jokes in the huddle. Stonewall Jackson got his nickname by strolling around on his horse in the midst of the first Battle of Bull Run as if he were on a Sunday ride, believing that "God's providence has taught me to feel as safe in battle as I am in my own bed." Rudyard Kipling famously wrote, "If you can keep your head about you when others are losing theirs, you will be a man, my son."
Jesus was so calm in a boat filled with frenzied friends that He fell asleep during the storm. Christ had no fear of nature, no fear of man, no fear of legions of demons (as we shall see in the next passage). The fact that He fell asleep, however, demonstrates that this most interesting man was indeed a man, a human being, a body that needed sleep, food, water, and other necessities. Jesus was a man, as if He were not God at all.
Jesus is God, as if He were not man at all. What man can talk to the wind and make it stop? What man can speak to the waves and make them still? What man can turn water into wine, heal the sick with a touch, raise the dead with a word? "Who then is this?" Who has such an omnipotent hold over all the universe?
He is the most interesting man in the world, because He is the God-man, fully human, fully divine, fully cool beyond all measure. There is no one else like Him. And, it is only fitting that the most interesting man in the world have the most interesting job in the world, too.
The Most Interesting Job in the World
Actually, the Lord Jesus Christ wore a lot of hats and had numerous jobs. They include son, brother, carpenter, Messiah, just to name a few. The synoptic Gospel writers all record this story, yet they quote the disciples screaming three different names at Him. In Mark, they call Jesus the "Teacher." In Matthew, they call on the name of the "Lord" in their panic. In Luke's account, however, they give Him the distinct title of "Master."
I'm sure that with a dozen or more passengers who were persuaded they were dying on board, those daring disciples were hollering every name they could think of to stir Jesus out of His slumber. Of course, the "Teacher" was giving them a dynamic lesson about faith. The "Lord" was showing them who was in control. Being the teacher of a class or the lord of a country is interesting work, to be sure, but how does Luke's designation as "Master" round out this teaching about the Lord? Luke is the only Gospel or Bible author to use the term, which he does five times, always talking about Jesus.
Jesus is the master teacher. He knows everything. He is omniscient. Jesus is God, Master and Lord; therefore, He is omnipresent (even as He emptied Himself into Jesus of Nazareth, He could still see Philip under the fig tree). As just plain "Master," Jesus is the true and living God who is in charge of everything, and I mean everything. He is omnipotent, as He proved in calming the storm and saving His life and those of His disciples.
In the words of a chorus about Jesus, "He is the mighty king, master of everything." That's one interesting job, and complicated. Who knows why the Master stops some storms but lets others rage? Who knows why some are healed and others suffer? Who knows why a precious few were raised from the dead while all others were left in their graves? This most interesting, mysterious Master certainly has our attention. And He asks of us one thing.
The Most Interesting Demand in the World
The Master could have made His disciples start bailing water. That would have taught them the old adage, "God helps those who help themselves." He could have ordered a nautical maneuver to make the ship go around the storm, which would fit the bill, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." But when Jesus awoke, He did not ask them to expend energy doing any such things. The Lord asked them one thing.
The English translation of Luke's record goes like this: "He said to them, "Where is your faith?" But the construct reveals a rhetorical question that is really a statement, a request, a demand. Jesus is saying, "Trust Me."
Most people in power demand that you do something for them. They take our money in taxes. They conscript our sons and daughters for military service. They give orders and we take them to keep our jobs and fund our lifestyles. But the most interesting man in the world with the most interesting job in the world with the most power in the world is not primarily a taker, He is a giver. He gives this one overarching command, "Trust Me." Do you? Will you?
When your property is threatened by a storm or stolen by thieves, will you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ? When your loved one is sick and needs surgery, will you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ? These serious situations have variables to be sure, like evacuation, insurance, or choosing a good doctor. But let me ask you about one situation in which there is no shadow of turning.
When you think of the mortality of this life and the immortality of your own soul, are you trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you think of salvation as based on something you do for God, or something God has done for you? Are you the captain of your own ship, or would sin sink you down apart from the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are you trusting in your works, or God's grace? Where is your faith?
I hope and pray it is in the most interesting man in the world, the only God in the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ who lived perfectly, died sacrificially, and rose again authoritatively. So do what the man, our God, says. Trust Him.
Copyright © 2017 Lake Hamilton Baptist Church, All rights reserved.
Dr. Charles F. "Chuck" DeVane, Jr., is the Pastor of Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. His weekly sermon article, "The Gospel Truth," has been published in newspapers in Arkansas and Georgia. Dr. DeVane is a graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and has served in the pastorate for over 20 years. Contact Pastor Chuck at PastorChuck@lakehamiltonbaptistchurch.org