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Saturday, March 16, 2019

3-16-2019        Life of Jesus and The Three spheres of battle


So, just how does Jesus’ life reflect the three battlefields of life – the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man?

Jesus lived as we do for thirty years

The bible doesn’t say much about the first thirty years of Jesus’ life here on earth and I’m not about to try and go back to explain what happened with Him between “before creation” and His “natural” birth in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.  Neither am I going to say much about those “dark years” before He started His ministry. 

Even though the bible doesn’t say much about those first thirty years on earth, it does give us an idea of what His life was probably like.

Jesus had to come into our world in order to redeem us from it.  He walked as we did before Calvary so we would have no excuse “You don’t know what it’s like down here!”  From His humble birth in Bethlehem He did walk as we walk, experiencing those things which we experience.

We know sons usually followed in their father’s footsteps that is they took up the trade of their fathers.  This may be an extension from when Moses and Israel were in the wilderness, Father told him that He had given certain people certain skills (Exod. 35:30-35) – to build the tabernacle, the ark, etc.  Sons would normally be familiar with what their fathers knew and did, so when they came of age, they would follow in the “family business”.  Jesus was presumed to be the son of the carpenter, Joseph, so we may also presume that Jesus, as a youth, trained to be a carpenter like Joseph.

As a boy in the temple

However after one pilgrimage,Joseph and Mary realized that Jesus was not in the entourage as they travelled home from Jerusalem and went back looking for Him.  They found Him in the temple and berated Jesus for not letting someone know where He was.  Jesus’ response “Don’t you know I must be about My Father’s business” (Luke 2:43-49).  From this statement, we may also presume, that Jesus was learning the “family business” from His true Father as He wowed the scribes and Pharisees with His knowledge of scriptures.

The “natural” legacy of Jesus

Jesus obeyed His parents and increased in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:51-52).  We may also conclude that as Jesus obeyed His earthly parents and that this was a reflection that He also was obedient to His heavenly Father.  Or was it vice versa?

All this laid the foundation for the ‘natural man’ in Jesus as He was exposed to all the trials, tribulations and temptations of this world and because He pleased both God and man, we know that He successfully passed this stage of His life.  This is also evidenced by His successfully passing those final three trials in the wilderness after His baptism by John (Matt. 4:1-11).

Jesus walked in the full power of the Father as He ministered to us for @3 ½ years
The next stage of His life, the ‘spiritual man” began when Jesus went to the river to be baptized by John the Baptist.  Recognizing in his spirit, John said to Jesus, “It is I who should be baptized by you” (paraphrase).  Yet Jesus answered John “Do this now, for it is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matt.3:13-15)  (That is to fulfill the “Law” and become acceptable to God).

As he preached the coming Messiah, John was baptizing with water representing the cleansing from sin which the Messiah would bring.  As Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove and a voice from heaven said “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-12)  Thus beginning the second phase of Jesus’ ministry to us – building our spiritual man.  With the full power of our heavenly Father embodied in His presence, Jesus began teaching us how we could (and should) walk closer with God.

Early in His ministry as He was in the Synagogue, the book of Isaiah was given Jesus.  In part, it read “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken hearted, bring deliverance to the captives, sight to the blind and liberty to those who are bruised (broken) and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  Then Jesus said, “This day, this scripture is fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:17-21).  Jesus was talking about how He was going to repair our spiritual condition in so we could be with and walk closer with God.

How did Jesus minister?

Jesus taught His disciples by word AND example as to how to bring lost souls into the kingdom of God.  He was also teaching them (and us) how to walk in God’s love so we too, could show the true nature of our heavenly Father to those around us.  The disciples were with Jesus, watching all that He did, and then later He sent them out to ‘practice’ (Luke 10:1-10).

The scriptures tell us that the beginning of miracles (John 2:11) for Jesus began at the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-10).  Since then, wherever Jesus ministered, miracles were performed, people healed and devils were cast out.

More than once Jesus controlled a storm (natural elements) commanding their rage to stop “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:36-41, Matt. 14:22-32). 

God gave dominion of the earth to Adam (Gen. 1:26-28).  But Adam ceded that over to Satan when he and Eve disobeyed God’s command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Through all that He did, Jesus was showing that through Him, we can regain that dominion.
Upon the mountain, part of what Jesus told those who were gathered to hear Him, was that He had come, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17)! 

Many believe that we aren’t obligated to the “Law” (10 Commandments) because Jesus fulfilled the law, but Jesus said that not one pen stroke or punctuation mark of the law will pass away until everything has been fulfilled (Matt. 5:18).  In short, once we are abiding with God for all eternity the law will become moot because we will be existing in His eternal love.  And what did the ‘Law” do for us?  It explained God’s love and how we could (and should) interface with Him and those around us.  

Read the gospels.  Jesus kept the law even though He fulfilled it.  Today, we don’t ‘keep the law’ to get saved, we keep God’s law (which is love) because ‘we are saved’!  Father’s Law of love should be abiding in our hearts (Jer. 31:33, Heb. 10:16).  

Jesus healed the sick, the blind, as well lepers.  He caused the lame to walk.  He cast out devils.  When He sent them out, He gave the disciples the authority to also do this.  Yet, one time, they weren’t very successful and they brought a demon possessed boy back to Jesus wondering what happened.  Jesus told them that this comes by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:14-21).  We have to have a true ‘commitment’ with the Father to see complete results.

As with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus knew things about people and the woman perceived that He was a prophet (John 4:19, John 4:4-39).  (I wonder if being the ‘Son of God’ qualified Him as such? lol)   Today, the Holy Ghost will reveal things to us.

Jesus showed compassion as with Mary and Martha in the ‘death’ of their brother, Lazarus, (John 11:1-44) as he wept (John11:35).  But earlier, Jesus had reminded them that He is the resurrection and belief in Him brings life over death (John 11:25).

Even with all this love pouring out, Jesus did get angry – when the Father’s righteousness was challenged.  Often, people would come to the temple, having none of their own, they had to buy a sacrifice to present to the Lord but those who bought and sold cheated the people and Jesus let them know that, in so doing, they were desecrating God’s house (Matt. 21:12-13).

Through all this, Jesus taught that He was willing to teach anyone whose heart was willing to receive (Matt. 21:22).  He demonstrated this through the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:11-23).

Through all of this (and more) Jesus laid the foundation for our spiritual battleground.  But there was one more stage in life for Jesus to address.

Connecting our heart with the Father

Now, our heart is connected to the Father in our ‘salvation experience.  But Father desires us to walk “with” Him.  This we do by yielding every aspect of our lives over to Him.  And that is abiding in His love and fully keeping His commandment of love.  This doesn’t happen overnight.  It is a growing process in our spirit as the Holy Ghost guides and directs us.

After the crucifixion and the resurrection, Jesus walked with His disciples for forty days teaching them even more about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:2-3).

Then, He was taken back up into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), and having already told His disciples that He was going away but would not leave them (us) comfortless (John 14:16-20).  He gives us the Holy Ghost ten days after His ascension (Acts 2:1-18).

Jesus now stands at the right hand of the Father.  Just ask the first martyr of the church, Stephen (Acts 7:54-60). 

Jude says “Glory, Majesty, dominion and power belong to the only wise God, our Savior both now and forever.” (Jude 25)  Who is our Savior?  So, Jesus stands in the glory of the Father in heaven waiting for when He will come back and get us (John 14:3).

We know a few things have to happen before that.  The disciples asked Jesus how shall we know when You are coming back for us.  Jesus describes the conditions of the end times concluding with “this generation shall not pass until these things are fulfilled (Matt. 24:3-34).

Then all things shall be subdued and become subject to Christ, then all things (including the Son) shall be in God (1 Corinth. 15:15-28).

Our heart will then be one with the Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord, FOREVER.
This why Jesus tells us, that while we are still in this world, to seek the kingdom of God, first and foremost (Matt. 6:33).  Then our Lord tells us to ask, seek and knock (Matt. 7:7) so that the blessings of God can come down from heaven and strengthen our hearts as we draw closer to Him.
So from His ascension back into heaven until He comes back for us, Jesus continues to build our heart up in His love.  He draws us ever closer in our relationship with the Father through our relationship with Him (Jesus).  Of course, once we are with God in eternity, our relationship becomes complete. 

The Life of Jesus reflects our three cord battle front:  He walked thirty years as we do, in the natural, being subject to the same things we face – day in and day out. 

He ministered to our spiritual man for three and a half years.  Helping us to understand how we should live and where hearts should be.   

And now, being at the right hand of the Father, Jesus ministers to our hearts (through the Holy Ghost) until the time He brings us to join Him in eternity. 


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