Nature (Matthew 8:26-27)

Photo by Marcus Verbrugge

“He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the   winds and the waves obey him!”  Indeed. What kind of man is this Jesus? 

Any student of the Bible knows that Jesus is the 2nd person of the Trinity. He is Holy Most High God – a fact firmly established in Scripture. Yet that Jesus is also God in the flesh is also a fact firmly established in Scripture. As Isaiah foresaw, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel…” and “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” So when we read of Jesus doing all manner of miracles, we are reading not only of God sovereignly ruling the earth He made, but also of the second Adam. A man untainted by sin, living and working in harmony with God to accomplish His will on earth.

The implications of that second aspect of Jesus’ nature – what theologians call, “the Hypostatic Union”, are profound. Firstly because it means that when we are finally free of sin and its effects, we will be like Him in being able to live and work in perfect harmony with God and His purposes. As the apostle John wrote, “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” That means we will be perfectly holy and perfectly able to fully obey God in everything, just as Jesus did.

But there is a second, most profound aspect to Jesus’ nature. For if Jesus is fully man (and He is) and fully God (and He is), then those who are sanctified by His work on the cross can start to live as though we are already like Him, albeit imperfectly. Further, that life – what AB Simpson called, “the Christ life” is available to us to live both inwardly in purity (again, not perfectly, but more and more so) and outwardly in ministry. As John also wrote, “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 

So when we read of Jesus and ask ourselves, “What kind of man is this?”, we should be filled with the awe of knowing that He is not only God and completely beyond us, but also our example of how we can and should and must act. It means the life He modelled is not meant to be unique. Jesus is a template for how we can and should be living

Of course, that doesn’t mean that we can exercise sovereign power to still storms as we want. Sovereign power belongs to God alone. We cannot manufacture a miracle, but we can cooperate with God who does. And in that limited way we can be like Him enough to absolutely accomplish the mission the Father gives us, no matter what obstacles we come across in so doing.

There is nothing in the world worth living for, but doing good and finishing God’s work—doing the work Christ did.


APPLICATION: Intentionality

Today the Spirit of God will lead and guide you. Listen to His prompting. 

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