When Jesus was on this earth there were times that He was attacked and times He was persecuted. And, the example He set was that He was constantly overcoming everything that Satan put in His face. He did it in an incredibly special way.
He always established truth!
- He showed truth.
- He acknowledged the facts.
- He always climbed over every situation in a spiritual way.
- He excelled with God’s power, no matter what. And, once He was over the problem … He always pulled others with Him!
- Jesus was special, but that was not the reason that He overcame all the problems that beset Him, and we are going to look at that. What was His secret? Was it a secret? Is it a secret? No, it is not, but it is not taught enough and in depth enough! Jesus came to this Earth to show us how to live and how to walk out our life. He came to set us free!
“...Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (NIV) John 8:31-32
“So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (NIV) John 8:36
Jesus showed us the way to get through life on this earth in freedom and in peace. You see when God has a plan, it is a perfect plan, and it just does not take care of the ending. God’s plans have beginnings, and they have middles, and they have endings. God is in control of the beginning of our lives and He is in control of the end!
However, the middle is where we can take control and do as we please! How? Because, what we choose to do in every circumstance of our individual lives determines how we live. If we choose the way God wants us to go, we allow God to be in control! If we choose what the Devil offers us and tempts us to do, we give Satan control – what we choose determines the outcome of the middle which sets the stage for where we spend eternity!
As we go through this teaching, I urge you to keep in mind, that one of the examples Jesus set for us was this. He allowed nothing, absolutely nothing to deter, detain, or distract Him from accomplishing what the Father had told Him to do each day of His life here on earth. He never allowed anything to affect His purpose on this earth for any given moment of the day. We must remember that.
As we continue our walk, we need to take time to come to a clear understanding of exactly what our Lord Jesus did for us by choosing to lay down His Deity. We need to clearly look at some of the situations and incidents surrounding His life on this Earth to get a clear perspective of what Jesus was up against as He went about his Father’s business.
All through church history, most individuals have had the idea that when Jesus came to this Earth, He did not lay down His Deity and power. They believe that He had a “jump start” on us.
What does the word deity mean? The Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary defines it as, “the essential nature or condition of being a god: Divinity”. Jesus gave up everything for us. He gave up His position and His power and came to Earth as a man!
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death -- even death on a cross!
In the Phillips translation, it is written this way:
“Let your heart attitude to life be that of Christ Jesus Himself. For He, who had always been By God by nature did not cling to His privileges as God’s equal but stripped Himself of every advantage by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born a man. And, plainly seen as a human being, he humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, to the point of death, and the death was the death of a common i criminal.” Philippians 2:5 (Phillips)
The King James Version puts it this way:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (KJV) Philippians 2:5-8
There are several words in the above text that I feel God wants us to look at. Keep in mind as we move along the New Testament was written in Greek and translated into English. Therefore, I believe we need to look at several words: In Philippians 2:7 the word made: In the original Greek means made of none effect, laid aside equality with the form of God, deprived of force, render vain, useless of no effect: Meaning empty handed, without a gift.
The next word to look at is the word “men”. Taken from the original Greek means, human being, with the added notion of weakness by which man is led into a mistake or prompted to sin.
The final word is the word, “humbled”. Taken from the original Greek means, to level, reduce, and assign a lower rank, to be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded, to behave in an unassuming manner, devoid of haughtiness.
When Jesus chose to come to this Earth, He knew very clearly that He was going to have to come and live and deal with the things of the Earth in the same way that any one of us has too! He did not have any special advantage of any kind. It simply would not have been fair. A foul could have been declared! You see, He would not have been able to say to us, “I know how you feel, and I have felt how you have felt.” It would have been a lie. We have got to understand that when Jesus came to this Earth as a baby, He gave up all knowledge of knowing God. He had to start from scratch just like we did, He had to do it the way we had to, he had too! There was no other way. If He had done it another way, He would have been a fraud. This needs to be stressed extremely hard. He was not put here on this Earth with all the knowledge He had in Heaven, He had to work for it. If it were not this way, His whole testimony would not have been valid for us. Jesus had no preferential treatment upon coming to the Earth, or while He walked the Earth. He worked, He toiled, He suffered, He was rejected, and He was put to death. As He grew, He did not know who He was until the appointed time. He did not know His calling on this Earth. Once again if He had, He would have had a “jump start” and that would not have been fair. He even had to LEARN to hear the voice of God like we can!
What kind of Savior would He be if He had come with an advantage on us? To come to this earth to accomplish what He had to, Jesus had to lay down His Deity. He could not have come to this earth with a head start on us. If He had, He would have been a liar. If Christ had come to earth with even the smallest part of his Deity, it would have canceled out everything that God the Father would have wanted. The Word of God came to earth as a man! He came to earth as a precious baby that had to learn everything just as we have had to! Take note: Jesus referred to Himself as a man.
“As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God...” (NIV) John 8:40
Peter said, "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (NIV) Acts 2:22
Repeatedly in the written Word, Jesus is referred to as, the Son of Man:
“Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!” (KJV) John 19:5
“But there is a place where someone has testified: "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (NIV) Hebrews 2:6
These are just a few of over a hundred references to the “man” Jesus. If Christ had come to earth with even the smallest part of His Deity, it would have canceled out
everything that God the Father wanted to do. When Jesus was on this earth, He went through all the trials that we go through now! Jesus suffered:
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.”
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”. (NIV) Isaiah 53:3-5
One last thought on Jesus being a man while here on earth! He had to come as a man not as a Supernatural God! Why? Two reasons, God cannot leave His Throne and God cannot be killed on a cross or in any way shape or form – Jesus had to come as a baby and grow and learn and fulfill His calling just like we must!
His Earthly Life
Let us look at some of the situations in His earthly life, but first I want to make a few statements.
I do not know how much information that you are aware of concerning Satan or the “Devil” as he is called. I do not want to get into a great deal of information at this point about him because our emphasis is not on him, it is on Jesus’ walk on the Earth. But I do want to share these facts with you to further clarify what Jesus was up against walking this earth.
1) Satan is the “prince of this world”.
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
(KJV) John 12:31
2) Satan knew who Jesus was before He did! If Jesus had known from the beginning of His life on Earth, He would not have been playing fair. He had to learn things and experience everything the way we do so He could honestly say, “I have experienced what you are experiencing.” Every iota of His testimony had to be valid, everything!
Please understand and keep this in mind as we go on.
3) When Jesus was born Satan thought that Jesus was coming to set up his kingdom here on earth when He grew up – thus taking over his domain. Is He going to? Yes, but it was not going to happen in the time frame Satan thought it was! By Satan making this assumption Satan reveals himself to us that he is not as smart as he would want us to think he is! Jesus will set up a kingdom on this Earth but, that period will come after the rapture of the church!
4) Satan knew that Jesus was going to be born, because there where prophecies made regarding His coming in the Old Testament. He was fully aware of what was happening when the stage began to be set with the announcement to Mary that she was going to give birth!
Joseph: Jesus’ earthly Father
“This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" -- which means, "God with us." When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Yeshua (Jesus.)” (NIV) Matthew 1:18-25)