Trust in the Incarnate Word -- By: Joel R. Beeke

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 03:1 (Jan 2011)
Article: Trust in the Incarnate Word
Author: Joel R. Beeke


Trust in the Incarnate Word

Joel R. Beeke

Teaching is hard work. When Jesus and His disciples got into a boat after a full day of teaching, the disciples were not surprised that Jesus fell asleep. The gently rocking waves of the Sea of Galilee might have lulled them to sleep, too. But on their way across the big lake, a terrible storm arose.

The southern end of the Sea of Galilee is a deep valley lined by cliffs. Wind can suddenly come roaring into that valley and whip the sea into a storm.1 Andrew, Peter, James, and John had seen many storms in their lifetime of fishing, but this one overwhelmed them. The wind howled and the waves crashed. The boat began taking on water. It rode lower in the water so that each wave threatened to fill it. Fear gripped the men. Their boat was sinking; would they all die?

They turned to Jesus, who was still sleeping, and shouted over the roaring sea, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and the sea. In an instant, wind and sea were stilled. But the men were still terrified. “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” they asked (Mark 4:35-41; cf. Pss. 65:7; 89:9).

Why was Jesus asleep in the midst of the storm? Why didn’t the storm awaken Him? The obvious answer is, His humanity. He was tired. He was worn out after a long day’s work and needed rest to renew His strength.

How did Jesus calm the storm? Again, the answer is obvious: His deity. Jesus had such power over creation that His words instantly changed the weather. He did not use technology, magic charms, or rituals. Jesus didn’t even pray. He just said to the storm, “Be silent!” Christ has the power of God, and His disciples recognized it when they said, “Even the wind and the sea obey Him.”

But the mystery here is whether Jesus was tired or all-powerful. Was He drained of energy or full of energy? Was Christ limited so He needed restoration, or was He infinite in ruling over creation by His mere word? The answer, according to Scripture, is both. Jesus is both limited in His humanity and infinite in His deity as Lord over creation.

Jesus Christ the God-Man

John 1:14 says, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” As is typical of him, John uses simple words to express a very deep trut...

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