Part II: Incarnation for Restoration (Chapters 6-10) Chapter 6The Role of Master Teacher: Following Jesus Answer to Where? Jesus Five Life Roles Jesus takes on five roles to answer the five universal questions of life (analyzed in Chapter 3). A review of those five universal questions will follow. Then a preview of the next five chapters is given. Chart 6.1 summarizes all five lifelong questions and Jesus five answers from His life roles. Chart 6.1Five Life Questions and Jesus Life Role Answers Five Life Questions Jesus Answers (per five life roles) Q#1Where did I come from? Jesus is the Master Teacher who focuses on our
creation in the Image of God. Chapter 6 Q#2What is my background and culture? Jesus is the Faithful Learner who purposefully studies history and culture, while remaining holy. Chapter 7 Q#3Who am I? Jesus is the Son of Man, which means totally human. Chapter 8 Q#4What should I do with my life? Jesus is the Great Physician, who follows His Fathers restoration plan for all creation.
Chapter 9 Q#5How do I get to where I must go? Jesus is the Submissive Servant, offering His personal will to the Fathers Will. Chapter 10 Prelude to Following the Master Teacher: Return to Eden Answering the first universal life question, Where did I come from?, Jesus grounds His instruction in pre-Fall Creation three times. This teaching pattern is not random. It is a pointed response to the challenges of human origin. The Master Teacher consciously establishes a creditable starting point historically in Adam and Eve and figuratively in our own birthbecause
every person ponders his or her beginning. Christs three Creation citations supply a three-fold strategy: (1) the need to return to Eden to understand what we once had; (2) the need to emphasize Gods Image in all people; and (3) the need to stress the task of holistic human restorationespecially the full health that comes from adhering to Gods holy standards. Jesus Use of 3 Pro-Creation Passages In Matthew 19:1-4 the Master Teacher gives His view of divorce, by quoting Genesis 1:27 on humanitys special creation in Gods Image. Mark 2:23-3:6 features the Master Teachers instruction on two Sabbaths. The first time, Jesus reviews the original Seventh Day and concludes: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath (2:27-28). The next time, Jesus proclaims people should do goodeven on the Sabbath. Then He shows what good looks like, by fully restoring a mans withered hand (3:4-5; also Mt. 12:13). Matthew 25:31-40 refers to the Lords eternal blessing for the righteous sheep, prepared since the creation of the world (v. 34). The righteous are given eternal life because they genuinely serve the needywithout expecting paybackwhich means they are actually serving the Lord (v.3740). A foundational bond is now forged: How we treat people EQUALS how we treat God (Jer. 22: 15-16 and Jas. 3:9).
The New Eden Standard Jesus consistent Eden focus is so strong in these three passages, they are labeled the New Eden Standard. By starting with Creation, we gain a refreshingly-biblical understanding of people, their work and personal ties. Respectively, the three Creation passages cited on the previous slide examine these three specific topics: I. Our Origin II. Our Responsibilities III. Our Relationships Chapter 9 features the second topic; the last topic is analyzed at the end of Chapter 8. The first topic of origin is discussed below. Another Look at the Eden Standard 1. Origin: Our Character Who are we? (Self & Others)
Mt. 19:1-8Dust and Creation & Breath of God (see Gen. 2:7) Jn. 10:34-36 (Ps. 82:6/ Ps. 8:5/Gen. 1:26) A little lower than God 2. Responsibilities: Our Calling What should we do? Mk 2:23-28Do good (w/ goal of Restoration) Cultural Mandate Other Verses: (Ac. 10:38) Jesus doing good Mt. 12:13Hand completely restored like the other hand 3. Relationships : Our Community Why are relationships so important? Mt 25:31-46Creation Equation Other Verses: Gen. 1:2-27; Jer. 22:16; Jas. 3:9 I. Our Origin: More Matthew 19:1-8 Christs bold recall of the sinless Garden days supports the Creators consistent plans for His people to live holy lives. Matthew 19:1-8 begins with our Lord being verbally attacked by Pharisees, who push Him to validate Moses extremely lenient divorce policyto divorcefor any and every reason (v. 3b). Instead of supporting the Pharisees by compromising Gods Word, the Master Teacher deliberately communicates a half dozen concepts, each of which upholds the New Eden Standard.
The New Eden Standard is neither an unrealistic look at the past nor a nostalgic good ol days pep talk. More Than Some Good Ideas Jesus flashback to Eden is not merely descriptive. This Great Physician issues a prescription for all humankind, the way we must live if we desire complete health. We can also lean hard against the Fathers corresponding character of goodness as Faithful Creator (see 1 Peter 4:19b). That title means God not only creates everything, but He graciously sustains and nurtures it. James 1:17 says it best: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. The Father is the Source of every good gift and He is changeless. The way from the beginning (Mt. 19:8b)Jesus prescribesis the path of life that obedient disciples need to always pursue. It is the Standard for all saints.
The Son essentially instructs, Dont undo what the Creator did! Dont even think about messing with it! So, in response to Life Question #1: Where did I come from?, Jesus sufficiently answersas Master Teacherwith the provision of the New Eden Standard. Process of Following Master Teacher: Restore Image Nine education-formation directives arise from Jesus public instruction. Each identifies a specific human trait that represents Gods Image. Each trait reveals God's character, yet each trait needs restoration. #1Trait of Ability: Honor Learners Self-Initiated Input From Eden, people are commanded to rule over creation and are blessed by the Creator to actually accomplish that task (Gen. 1:28). Humans are endowed with the talents to both learn and to teach (Gen. 2:15-23), and they are given a range of communicative skills to express both reason and emotion (Gen. 2:20b-23). By similarly watching for student needs, teachers today are also empowered by Gods image to understand these concerns. Perhaps the most powerful contribution comes when a teacher simply values the learner as a person, not for what he or she can do. This virtue lies at the heart of Christian education and formation.
#2Trait of Personality: Know Students as Individuals From the Creation account, the theme of personality arises through Gods multiple gifts to Adam and Eve (the abilities to learn, teach, solve problems, to rule over creation, to work and to care for the garden, and to communicate). Perhaps the most important gift (which tends to ignite these other gifts) is the individual blessing of human will, enabling us to choose: to choose to obey/disobey and to choose to serve (Gen. 2:16-17). Since this gift is individual (everybody chooses for himself/herself), its possible that the Creator customized the other noted gifts, tooat least, in terms of gender differencesso that Adam and Eve both learned, taught, and solved problems, yet each in their own way, their own style. Prudent teachers know that circumstances (including personalities) in the classroom constantly change. Effective leaders read these circumstances, both proactively and reactively, just as Jesus did (see next slide).
Jesus Deliberate Study of Students Our Lord often intentionally studies the situation, accessing learners individually and collectively, before He ministers. He purposefully sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury (Mark 12:41). Jesus carefully observes that many wealthy people toss in large amounts of money; meanwhile, a poor widow gives only two insignificant copper coins. Calling His disciples, Jesus concludes: I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everythingall she had to live on (Mark 12:43-44). Jesus careful observation of an individual person (among several others) produces significant findings regarding our responsibility to participate in offerings. By proactively reading their own students, classrooms, and larger culture, todays
instructors emulate Jesus. Patient observation like His can bring a wealth of insight into students motives, values, aims, and behaviors. Reactivenot justProactiveStudy Besides proactive skills, reactive abilities are critical for the skillful teacher. Christ demonstrates His skills of both reaction and the study of people groups in Luke 13:1-5: Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Upon hearing this gory report, Jesus turns the gruesome news into a relevant lesson by quizzing the listening crowd. Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners that all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! Jesus knew how to take a familiar local news item and link it to His listeners
misunderstandings about that particular event. Its similar to todays teacher who, upon inferring how his or her students might be processing a disaster, like hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, tells the class: Dont think of this awful event as necessarily Gods judgment. Those victims were no more evil than those who were spared. Be careful what you tell yourself about such tragedies and be sure you are walking righteously. Good Christian educators know their students as individuals, whether its before, during, or after an educational encounter. #3Trait of Boundary: Know Your Learners Limits One underrated characteristic of Gods Image is that it contains limits. Humanseven perfect humansrequired limits and boundaries. We are made to function best and to experience our most satisfying lives within Gods boundaries. Besides theological boundaries, less substantial
borders in Christian education-formation must also be heeded. Effective teaching often boils down to balance and moderation. This wisdom is particularly needed in cases involving the teachers basic question: How far do I push my students? What represents too little and too much? Jesus accommodates His followers. He demonstrates the need for all teachers to precisely know where the student is. Jesus knows how to locate an instructional starting point. Mark 4:33 records: With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. Imbedded in this pivotal verse on Christs strategy is the implicit fact that He realizes exactly how much His disciples could understand, before He tries to teach them something new. How Jesus Knew When to Say When How did Jesus determine His learners comprehension level? He reads their nonverbals, from puzzled looks to enlightened countenances. He listens to
their feedback, from questions to commentary. He observes how they respond to each other regarding what He says. He thoroughly knows each disciples idiosyncrasies, abilities and weaknesses. At least twice Jesus is prevented from discussing certain issues because His audience is not ready. John 3:12 states, I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? Likewise, John 16:12 notes Jesus confession that, I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. Translated into modern teaching-learning settings, Jesus encourages instructors to admit to their hearers: Weve got to stop here. We cant finish the complete lesson. We must spend more time on this material weve discussed before we move on. #4(Twisted) Trait of Deformity: Dare to Confront Ignorance, Stubbornness and Prejudice At some point we need to move to the distorted realities of Image traits we face and not just focus on our sinless beginnings. For the sake of balance, the next insights locate educational challenges on this side of Eden. When godly instruction and nurture are conducted properly in a fallen world, all types of broken human bridges hold out hope for repair. Jesus is the ultimate model for how to rebuild those human bridges.
This is best expressed by His enemies who criticized Him by calling Him, ironically, the friend of sinners. The Son of God serves both the down-and-outers and the up-and-outers extending dignity to all people. Since most people are receptive to what He says, our Lord is empowered to minister freely to those who admit their need for Him. Jesus Reaction to the Unteachable Consider the converse perspective, which reflects ignorance: In the minds of some, Jesus isnt the successful educator everybody thinks He is. These cynics revisit the time Christ tells the rich young ruler what he has to do to gain eternal life. As the man turns sorrowfully and walks away, Jesus doesnt pursue him. On a harsher note, some refer to when Jesus finds no time for those who attempt to entrap Him. In Matthew 21:23-27, the plotting religious leaders challenge Jesus to know
where he gets His authority. Jesus promises to satisfy their inquiry, if they first answer His question about the authority of Johns baptism. The religious leaders know their trap has been sprung on them, so they stubbornly refuse to answer Jesus return question. Our Lord stops talking with that small group. Jesus has little time for those who think they know it all. He doesnt teach the unteachable. In fact, thats impossible to do. In such cases where He does get heard, however, the wide range of societal castaways who participate in learning seems endless. He consistently serves the unlovely. He attacks every form of human bias known. It is within this hostile milieu that Jesus radically revolutionizes the social order. Once again, He sees people for who they are, not for what they will become or produce. Its a sobering lesson for twenty-first century Christian education and formation. #5Trait of Sentimentality: Appeal to Basic Emotions Another example of Jesus educative-formative skills is His ability to address the emotional conditions of His hearers. In the Sermon on the Mount alone (Matthew 5-7), a broad spectrum of topics deal
with various emotions, mostly damaged and distorted ones: mourning (5:4) anger (5:21-26) lust (5:27-30) retaliation (5:38-42) love for enemies (5:43-48) giving to the needy (6:1-4) lure of materialism (6:19-24) worry (6:25-34) criticism of others (7:1-6) Today we speak of emotional intelligence, but centuries ago Jesus promotes relevant learning from knowing His hearers emotional states. He capably addresses human needs by pinpointing virtually every inner drive. #6Trait of Inclusivity: Involve Learners in Their Learning
From the start in Eden, Adam is invited to problem-solve the first assignment that comes from ruling over Creation: to name the animals. God provides Adam with all the necessary human tools he will need. The Creator models a task similar to that of naming the animals when He gives names to every star (Psalm 147:4). He gets more involved in Eden by gathering all creatures and brought them to the man to see what he would name them (Genesis 2:19b). Repeatedly, the Son of God follows His Fathers lead, on earth. Jesus seeks active involvement from His pupils, as they confront lifes problems. Contrary to the superficial version of this strategy, which values activity for the sake of activity, Jesus participatory strategies are purposeful, even from the very beginning of His work in Luke: To show his control over nature, Jesus commands Peter, who is fishing on the lake, Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch (5:4). Peters obedience yields a large catch and prompts Peter to leave his nets, follow Jesus, and be a fisher of men. #7Trait of Rationality: Have Learners Use Their Heads
Several times Gods Image links up with skills of reasoning. The example of Adam naming the animals represents both a right-brain and a left-brain phenomenon. Luke 14:25-33 exemplifies the imperative to think. In verses 28-32, Jesus sets the stage with two potent illustrations. First, Jesus asks what a person does who wants to build a tower? Answering his own question with more rhetorical ones, he then asks, wont this builder initially sit down and estimate the cost? Second, Jesus raises the topic of a king, who is contemplating war with another ruler. Wont he, likewise, sit down and initially determine whether he (with 10,000 soldiers) can defeat an approaching army of 20,000? In other words, both of the Lords illustrations could not be more straightforward: We use our heads before important decisions are made. Were logical. Were rational. We plan accordingly or we might lose everything. The very next verse (v. 33) commands, In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. What way? The way of thinking. Jesus pleads for followers to count the costby consciously counting.
#8Trait of Teachability: Serve Hungry Learners Jesus hears of a lame man by the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years. Jesus first words are: Do you want to get well? (John 5:6). Upon encountering two blind men, Jesus initial response is: Do you believe that I am able to do this? (Matthew (9:28). Why did Jesus take what seems like a dont-get-involved-too-quickly attitude? Nothing happens between a teacher and a student until that student identifies his own personal need. In the second case above, the students Jesus meets need to claim they believe Christ (versus someone else) can help them. Admitting a personal need is one thing, but acknowledging someone could help is another matter. Paralleling the principle to serve the hungry is the concept of readiness. In
schools we speak of reading readiness, writing readiness, and readiness for physical activities based upon psychomotor development. In the example of the lame man (John 5:6) and the two blind men (Matthew 9:28), personal desire is virtually synonymous with readiness. Do they acknowledge they are ready for Christs healing? Christ does not heal until they are ready. #9Trait of Identity: Press for Personal Ownership Again, the most awesome privilege-responsibility God gives is the human will; We choose to obey or not, and we choose who we will serve. Choice helps define our identity, who we are and who we are becoming. It ultimately provides the backdrop necessary for ownership (what we really value) as it asks each of us, What is it that you genuinely believe for yourself? Jesus demonstrates His insights into these concepts when He takes the time to poll His
followers. Who do people say the Son of Man is? (Matthew 16:13). No personal ownership is required to answer the first inquiry. No need to incorporate what they personally believed. They replied, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets (v. 14). Jesus follow-up question, however, quickly moves the discussion to the heart of ownership: But what about you? Jesus asks. Who do you say I am? (v. 15). Peter answers: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (v. 17). With Peters wordsa verbal extension of his identitya commitment to Jesus shifts from public opinion to private viewpoint. Summary of Chapter 6 The need for disciples to obey and to emulate Jesus as Master Teacher never demand perfect completion. But every step towards accomplishing that first task goes a long way in satisfying our first life question of origin. Christ-Centered Restoration, as odd as it might sound, originates in Eden. We are indebted to our Faithful Creator, who makes all this possible. Like Christ, we value the sanctity of each persons existence (based on Image) and we honor all of the Word by our teaching and living. As obedient disciples, we take active steps toward holistic restoration. We understand what we initially possessed as humans, what we lost in
sin, and howin Christwe continue to renew all creation. Chapter 7 The Role of Faithful Learner: Jesus Answer to What? Scriptures greatest indictment of those who disconnect themselvesand their learningfrom their past is Judges 2:10-11: After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. The disgraceful testimony identifies two serious transgressions: (1) Israels ignorance of the Lord, at a personal level; and (2) Israels ignorance of the Lords work within their nation, at a historical level. That neglect begins a devastating cycle for centuries: Israel rebels through idolatry and, after several years, God turns His People over to an oppressive enemy. Following captivity, the Jewish nation repents, which ushers in Gods
human judge who rules, until Israel lapses back into her rebellion. The entire Book of Judges repeats that depraved cycle. The chaotic anarchy is best described in that Books last verse (21:25): In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. The Other Side By contrast, one of the best passages that links Israels learning with their culture and faith is I Chronicles 12:32: Men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do. Issachar was part of the Twelve Tribes. They settled west of the Jordan River and just south of the Sea of Galilee (called Sea of Kinnereth in ancient Israel). Jesus hometown of Nazareth was later established close by Issachars northern-most border. This tribes priceless testimony produces two specific types of knowledge, which are difficult to master, yet critical for todays Christ-follower: (1) they had descriptive understanding to know the timesto comprehend what was happening in their particular culture; and (2) they had prescriptive understanding to know what Israel should do. In biblical history, this second knowledge was always accompanied by faithful obedience to the Lord God.
Two Common Image Traits In these two extreme cases, a pair of human characteristics emerge: the ability to learn and to worship. Both are permanently fixed to Gods Image inside all people. Both require individual choice. Both are tied to the following questions, which everybody asks themselves throughout life: What will I learn (including personal values)? and Who (or what) will I worship? These questions dont say, Will I learn? or Will I worship?,for that is like asking Will I breathe? and Will I eat? Learning and worship are automatic. Whats important is how we regularly answer those two inquiries by our personal decisions. Behind the Scene of Jesus Second Role
The second life question is, What is my backgroundmy history and culture? Jesus embodies the complementary side of teaching through His second role of Faithful Learner. Jesus is not only a dedicated learner, but His witness as a faithful learner speaks of His intentional holy living. Correspondingly, the Fathers role is Holy One. The word for holiness is found at least eighty-four times in the Old Testament, counting only the references to the Fathers nature and how He makes His people holy. Our Image traits reflect both learning and holiness. Learning is described by Adams careful observation of the animals before he names them. Two distinct categories are noted (in Genesis 2:20) by the terms livestock and beasts of the field. Faithfulness centers in Adams devotion to His Maker. Jesus is also a consecrated learner. Luke 2:40 and 52 signal our Lords holistic growth as a few-days-old infant and as a twelve-year old. And His active learning continues throughout life. Jesus is also devotedly obedient to His father. Two Sources of Jesus Faithful Learning Jesus basically learns the same ways all people do, while He maintains holiness. He learns from two sourcesNatural and Supernaturalthe same sources available to
us today. We can become more like our Faithful Learner as we emulate our Lords routines of learning and righteous living, while trusting God. Natural Sources of Jesus Learning Five sources (known as general revelation) are selected from our Lords personal life: Source #1Diverse Settings We forget Jesus lives a fairly ordinary Jewish life up to age thirty. His avenues of understanding are like all Jewish boys: Learning by formal dialogue with temple teachers (Lk. 2:46-48), like the rabbinical structure of listening to them and asking them questions; and Learning through the informal education in the home. Jesus Learning at Home & Work
What was Jesus home life like? Though few verses reveal direct answers, several biblical statements indirectly address that topic. Matthew 1:19 describes Joseph as a righteous man and one who was kind toward Mary. He is also obedient to Gods revelation through his angel (Mt. 1:24). And he exhibits realistic human fear (Mt. 2:22). Mary is described as highly favored (Luke 1:28), the Lords servant, and also obedient (Luke 1:38). Together Jesus parents abide by the Jewish laws that especially nurture the family (Luke 2:21-39, esp. v. 39; and 2:41-42). Both adults indicate concern for their twelve-yearolds disappearance following the Passover (Luke 2:43-50). And, even though neither Joseph nor Mary understand Jesus explanation for being in the Temple, the fact that Jesus still obeys his parents illustrates the positive learning atmosphere in Jesus home (Luke 2:50). Jesus learning also occurs through his apprentice work as a carpenterand, ultimately, from being a full-fledged carpenter Himself (Mt. 13:55; Mk. 6:3a). The Faithful Learners attendance at annual Jewish holidays (as a child and adult) indicates the consistency found within his healthy upbringing and learning (Luke 2:21-41). Source #2Past Knowledge
Several facts launch Jesus into routines of lifelong learning. First, as a student of humanity, Jesus knows the evil nature of people (Jn. 2:24-25), the evil thoughts we have (Mt. 9:4), and our evil deeds (Jn. 3:19b). The Son of Man also knows basic people needs, such as physical nourishment (Mt. 15:32; Luke 8:53-55). Second, Jesus is able to learn from errant ideas within His culture, like a popular misunderstanding of His day, which claims that a blind person is handicapped because of somebodys sin, usually his or his parents (John 9:1-2). Christ states the real reason for this blindness is so the work of God might be displayed in his life (John 9:3). Third, our Lords specific knowledge of people (like Peters unrelenting love for fishing) provides a helpful learning source. From that insight, Jesus designs a hands-on learning activity for Peter, which requires him to fish for tax money! (Mt. 17:24-27). Three divergent sources of informationone in anthropology, one in theology, and one in ichthyology! (the study of fish in zoology)assist the Faithful Learner to modify His ministries to needy people. Source #3Current Experiences
The Master Teacher shifts to the vital role of Faithful Learner when He attends to present-day understandings. Three sources of knowledge are modeled by our Faithful Learner: learning through human senses (Mk. 5:32); learning through purposeful observation (Mk. 12:41-44); and learning through active listening (Lk. 13:1-5). In the first case, somebody touches Jesus in a crowd in order to be healed, so the Lord attempts to locate that person. As He continues looking around, He relies on His sense of sight, along with His sense of being touch. In the second example, Jesus intentionally watches a poor widow give her offering. The Faithful Learner is quite deliberate as to: where He sits, who He watches, and how He distinguishes between two types of givers. In the third case, as an excellent listener, the Faithful Learner hears the conversation about a well-known regional tragedy. Source #4Dialogue The simple give-and-take of conversation prompts many learning
experiences for our Lord. Here are a half dozen settings where dialogue occurswhere the Messiah learns the way we can learn: 1. what great faith is (Mt. 8:5-10); 2.what are the publicly stated needs of the blind (Mt. 20:29-34); 3. how many loaves and fish Jesus has on hand (Mt. 15:34; Mk. 6:38); 4. what happens in a couple of separate mission trips (Lk. 9:10; 10:17); 5. who the crowds claim Jesus to be, according to the polling of His disciples. Source #5Broader Culture Across the culture, the Faithful Learner continues growing in knowledge. A half dozen references are cited below, and all are negative because each points toward some criticism. Each identifies popular sayings; the first, Physician, heal yourself, is linked to Jesus hometown, who try to force Jesus to do miracles, which He refuses (Luke 4:23). The second reference, Luke 4:24, reminds us that a prophet is not accepted in His hometown.
The third passage (Mt. 16:1-4) says the religious leaders read weather from the colors in the sky, but they can not interpret signs of their wicked generation. Two passages announce unhealthy practices: the religious hypocrites prayer life (Mt. 6:1-18) and their inadequate curriculum, standardized for their culture (Mt. 5:21-48). Lastly, Jesus proclaims that the ungodly tradition of the Pharisees (Corban) actually breaks the Commandment to honor parents (Mt. 15:1-11). Each citation notes cultural traditions in Jesus day. Unfortunately each is twisted. Yet these are expressions of specific cultural needs. Supernatural Sources of Jesus Learning The God-Man, for thirty-three years, is always God. Nothing changes that. However, because of kenosis (Jesus commitment to not independently use any of His powers), our Lord always depends upon the First and the Third Persons of the Trinity.
Many of the Sons blessings are transferable, meaning that the Father or the Holy Spirit may also direct those same blessings our way, as we also seek divine assistance. Chart 7.1 is inserted next, so readers may study where Jesus receives aid from the Father and the Holy Spirit. Remember: some of Jesus blessings are only intended for Him (e.g., the Holy Spirits power to bring about his Virgin Birth). Chart 7.1Outline of Supernatural Sources I. Assistance from the Father A. Direct blessings from the Father 1. After His baptism (Mt. 3:19): God says, My Son, whom I love; with him I well pleased. See Mt. 17:5. (Note: Jesus Father is also our Father as in Mt. 5:16; 5:45,48; 6:4; 6:6-8; 6:9; 6:14-25; 6:18; 6:26, 32 and 7:11. Also Mt. 22:9) 2. After Pharisees try to kill Jesus: From Matthews prediction in 12:14-21 (from of Isa. 42:1-4), God says: I will put my Spirit on him. B. Necessary time with and understanding and strength from the Father: But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed to his Father (Lk. 5:16). C. Extraordinary power from the Father to heal: (Lk. 11:20) Jesus exorcises demons by the finger of God. D. Contentment that comes from trusting the Father: (1 Peter 2:23) Jesus demonstrates how to trust the Father when enemies insult Him.
II. Assistance from the Holy Spirit A. Divine help pertaining Christs Virgin Birth 1. Mt. 1:18 (through the Holy Spirit) 2. Mt. 1:20 (from the Holy Spirit) More Help from the Spirit B. Divine presence subsequent to Christs baptism: And as [Jesus] was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove (Lk. 3:21b-22a) (see Mt. 3:16-17) C. Divine anointing by the Spirit for Jesus to begin ministry 1. Lk. 4:17-21 (based upon Isa. 61:1-2): the Spirit of the Lord is upon me 2. Peters message in Acts 10:37-38 proclaims the Father anointed Jesuswith the Holy Spirit and power. D. Divine leading of Christ (Lk. 4:1-14) (Mt. 4:1-11) 1. (Lk. 4:1a) Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, as He returned from the Jordan 2. (Lk. 4:1b) and he was led by the Spirit to be tempted. 3. (Lk 4:14a) Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit E. Divine power of the Spirit for Jesus to do ministry 1. Lk. 4:15 implies the Holy Spirits power enabled Jesus teaching 2. (Mt. 12:15-21) Jesus fulfills Isa. 42:1-4 promise of the Chosen Servant, which includes the blessing of the Spirit to proclaim justice and hope. 3. Jesus exorcizes demons by the spirit of God (Mt. 12:28)
F. Divine joy for Jesus, who was full of joy through the Holy Spirit (Lk. 10:21; also see Lu. 10:17 regarding the joy of His 72 disciples). Chapter 8 The Role of the Son of Man: Jesus Answer to Who? If someone asked you: So tell me what is a Christ-follower? What do they stand for? What do they look like?What would you say? Probably the best answer to the question, What is a Christ-follower?, is someone who is recognized as having been with Jesus (Acts 4:13b). Jesus Third Role as Son of Man The third universal human question, Who am I?, is best resolved by studying the person of Christ. Nothing helps us know ourselves better than first understanding the One who created us; the One who voluntarily became totally like us; the One who told us to follow Himliterally. Here are three practical areas of Jesus life, which directly influence our lives in those same categories: Who is Jesus? What does Jesus believe about people?
Who does Jesus loves? One of my students put it this way: For the most part, the better I understand Jesus nature, the better I know my own. Who is Jesus? Both Negative and Positive Jesus favorite name for Himself is Son of Man, which means totally human. This all-time favorite name conveys significance for us. As the Son of Man, Jesus fulfills all requirements for Gods perfect sacrifice for our sins. That title also connects the sinless God-Manas the Last Adamto the First Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). Scripture tells us who we are and who we will become in Christ. Correspondingly, the First Person of the Trinity holds the title of Heavenly Father to complement Son of Man (Matthew 6:9). When discussing a new topic, sometimes it helps to first discuss what not talking about. The Apostle Paul did this when he initially describes Israel as what ungodly people look like, the kind of example not to follow (I Cor 10:11-12). Figure 8.1 provides a half-dozen heresies about Jesus, which we should not follow. Figure 8.1Heresies Concerning Jesus (Biblical Views in Parentheses)
EBIONISM Jesus was Only a Special Man (100% GOD) ARIANISM Superman Jesus was the First Created Being (FULLY HUMAN AND DIVINE) EUTYCHIANISM The Incredible Hulk Jesus God-side Dominated Man-side (TWO NATURES FULLY BALANCED) NESTORIANISM Batman Jesus God-side Remained Separated from his Man-side
(TWO NATURES [VS. PEOPLE] UNITED AS ONE) APOLLINARIANISM Frankenstein Jesus was a Combination of Divine And Human Parts (FULLY DIVINE AND HUMAN) DOCETISM Jesus only Seemed to have Human Body (100% MAN) More about Who Jesus Is Notand Is Those six falsehoods about Christ are grouped into three major categories: (1) whether or not Christ is actually God or man or both (technically known as the subject of reality); (2) whether Christ is fully divine and human (integrity); and (3) whether Christ remains God or man, after the Incarnation, when His two natures merge (union).
Figure 8.1 summarizes these six heresies along with their evangelical responses (parenthesized words in bold capital letters). So, Who is Jesus? One of the simplest, illustrations of Jesus total humanity (and ours) is shown in Figure 8.2, the Hand Model created by Ted Ward. From the thumb to the pinky finger, five distinct domains are represented. The palm stands for the human spirit, our spiritual dimension. The human soul is symbolized by the complete hand. Figure 8.2The Hand Model of Humanity Christs and Ours Emotional Mental Physical Social Spiritual (the Spirit)
Moral The entire hand represents the human soul. What Jesus Believes About Human Beings Jesus View of People in General Jesus believes people are basically evil because of their sin. That probably doesnt surprise most readers, if they are familiar with these verses: Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? (Matthew 9:4) Jesus tells Nicodemus, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19) But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need mans testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man. (John 2:24-25) Jesus makes it clear, in John 3:18 that, unless an individual turns to Him for salvation, because of his thorough depravity, he is condemned already. The Son of Man does not need to be persuaded about the devastation sin makes inside every individual. Jesus View of Christian People But Jesus also sees believers as saintly, because of what He has done.
Somebody once harmonized these two views about people by saying that humans are both in need of saving and worth saving. Reflect upon the Wilderness temptations. Two of the three challenges begins with, If you are the Son of God (Luke 4:3 and 9). The tempter cruelly questions Christs divine identity. Yet, every time we view Christiansincluding ourselvesdifferent than this balanced two-part view that God holds of us, we do exactly what the tempter did! How does God actually see us? Chart 8.1 provides ten out-of-thisworld bountiful blessings. Chart 8.1Five (of Ten) Out-of-this-World Blessings for All Believers I am born again in Christ. (John 3:3; John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23) ~ I am forgiven of all my sins. (Ephesians 1:7; 1 John 1:9 and 1 John 2:12) ~ I am free from the power of darkness and welcomed into Gods Kingdom. (Colossians 1:13) ~ I am victorious through God.
(Revelation 21:7; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 1 John 5:4; 2 Corinthians 2:14-16) ~ I am strong in the Lord. (Ephesians 6:10) Five More Blessings (from Chart 8.1) I am safe from the Evil One. (1 John 5:18; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 4:18) ~ I am being changed to become more like Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 1:6) ~ I am loved by God and called to be a saint. (Romans 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:4) ~ I am blessed because I now have eternal life. (John 5:24; Matthew 19:29; John 6:47) ~ I can do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13) Even More Blessings of Gods Love
Never settle for anything less than how your All-Knowing FatherWho just so happens to have created you describes you! And dont let others be treated in sub-human ways either. Who Jesus Loves: Background Information The third and final sub-topic to the universal question, Who am I?, centers on Gods love for all people. Scriptures say He even loves His enemies. But the Church could benefit from even more specific Bible teachings of how to love ourselves in godly ways. A Practical and Necessary Curriculum Four lessons of godly self-love need to be taught to the Church. Lesson #1: Explain What Godly Self-Love Means. Godly self-love is the biblical way to love ourselves exactly as God loves usnothing more, nothing less, and nothing other than that.
Review Chart 8.1 which provides ten too-good-to-be-true blessings. In your mind, add to the front of each entry: God loves me so much that For instance, God loves me so much that I am forgivengiftedfreed from sins dominionetc. Thats how high into the heavens God sets the bar of His love for you! Thats God's Love Level or Standard for you as His beloved daughter or son. You must now ask: Do I really believe Gods loves me this much? Any time any one (including yourself) loves you at a level that is different than that specific mark our Maker has set (whether too high, too low, or just different), Gods Love Level is ignored, abused or rejected. Lesson #2: Explain What Godly SelfLove Does Not Mean From the definition in Lesson #1, anything more, less, or other than Gods biblical love for us is what godly self-love can not be. The best passage that describes ungodly love is 2 Timothy 3:1-5: But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
The primary reason this passage illustrates ungodly love is that all six words for love or lovers come from the Greek root phileo, meaning brotherly love. But, godly self-love is described in terms of Gods unconditional love, or agape love. Lesson #3: Provide Biblical Examples of Godly Self-Love Ephesians 5:22-33 show expressions of Gods love for us in Christ. It simultaneously shows two related concepts: (1) how husbands should love wives and (2) how husbands are already loving themselves in godly ways. Ephesians 5 tells every husband to love his wife just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (v. 25). In contrast to the previous 2 Timothy 3:1-5 passage, every reference to love here in Ephesians 5 is agape (unconditional) love (in the Greek).
Ephesians 5:28-33 also commands husbands to love their wives as he already loves his own bodywhich is Gods standard (as) for how he now must love his wife. Verse 29 adds: No one hates himself because, by feeding and caring for his body, each husband already exhibits godly self-loveloving himself in ways that the Creator loves him and wants him to love himself and his wife. Lesson #4: Provide Examples of Jesus Godly Self-Love for Himself Recall the biblical principle from Ephesians 5:28-29: Anytime Jesusor anybody elsefeeds or cares for Himself, godly self-love and care occurs. This daily behavior is nothing more or nothing less or nothing different than how the Heavenly Father wants all people to mirror His love for them. It is another illustration of Gods Love Level or standard. Several passages portray Jesus feeding and caring for Himself. But just
consider a handful of passages where the Son of Man withdraws from the world. Why does He withdraw? For various reasons, including protection, relaxation, prayer, rest, restoration, and just to get away. Our Lord is motivated byand He experiencesgodly self-love when: Jesus exhibits godly self-love by His withdrawals from the public with His disciples (Mark 3:7a; 4:34b; 6:31; 9:2-13; 14:32-34); and Jesus exhibits godly self-love when He purposefully leaves everybody (Mk. 1:35; Mt. 14:13-15; Mk. 14:35a; Lk. 22:41) Mark 7:24:More of Jesus Own Self-Love The most extreme case in Scripture is when our Lord completely gets away. Today we would say He turns off His cell phone and leaves behind the company car along with all credit cardseven His personal identification.
The Son of Man goes beyond what most of us ever imagine He actually does: Christ desiresHe longs forabsolute secrecy! Mark 7:24 says Jesus takes off for Tyre, far off the beaten path, all the way to the Mediterranean coastto a non-Jewish seaport town, of all places. His motive? He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it. How many sermons have you heard on this incognito Jesus passage? Have you been taught that, for a while, Jesus did not want to be known as Jesus? Our Creator wants every Christ-follower to emulate our Lord by similarly loving ourselves and by occasionally getting away from it all. Life Application Suggestions There are numerous ways we can love and care for ourselves as God does. Sleep is a great illustration. Read Psalm 127:2b, he [God] grants sleep to those he loves. This is a vital truth of Gods love for us and our responsibility for self-care. Brainstorm more holistic strategies of self-care and care for others. Maintain a balanced diet
Laugh a lot Think virtuous thoughts Study Gods Word (and other truth) Pray for others (intercession, praise and supplications) Learn to receivenot just give Be ready to help the needy Live simply; Stay out of debt Worship with your whole heart and mind Value leisure time; dont think about the clock Give freely to the poor Have a plan of exercise and sleep Maintain healthy relationships What are other ways you can experience Gods love for you? Conclusions about Godly Self-Love Gods Love Level is the standard we personally use and the standard we apply to love all people. Recall the second half of the Great Commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:13a; Lev. 19:18b). That command notes these realities, even if some are implied: #1People already love themselves (or Scripture would not note the guideline as [you love] yourself;
#2The godly self-love referred to in this command is both acceptable and good (or Scripture would not cite in such a favorable way); and #3This acceptable love of self is, in fact, the standard (based on the word as) by which we are to love others. II. Our Relationships: Applications of Self-Love Chapter 6 introduces 3 areas of duty as Image-bearers; Chapter 6 begins to describe duties from Our Origin. Duties from Our Relationships are our second responsibility, noted here. Godly self-love also influences our next duty to others: You can not love another person any more than you properly love yourself. Early in Chapter 6 this statement was made: How we treat people EQUALS how we treat God. This profound truth is taughteither implicitly or explicitlyin the whole Bible. (Prov. 14:31; 17:5; 19:17; Jer. 22:16; Jas. 3:9). Matthew 25:31-46 provides Christs lengthy instruction on this same EQUATION: True Christians (sheep) will help needy people without expecting a rewardand that is what it means to serve Christ. Chapter 9 The Great Physician: Jesus Answer to Why
The fourth (of five) life question asks: Why am I here? or What should I do with my life? The answer lies within a fresh look at what Jesus did. Jesus Job Description Jesus comes to earth to obey His heavenly Fathers Will. He says exactly what the Father wants him to say (John 12:49-50), and He does exactly what the Father asks Him to do (John 14:31). Consequently Jesus assesses that He fully completes and satisfies the job description His Father gave Him. Our Lord also claims that, by finishing every work detail, He is actually glorifying the Father (John 17:4), because He worships God through His work. The Hebrew word for work (abed) holds some fascinating meanings, like manual labor, or service, or worship. So, for Jesus, work for and worship of God are one in the same.
Jesus Three Tasks Describe Jesus total work: He preaches. He teaches. And He heals. Matthew 4:23 is one of several verses that highlights these three tasks in concert: Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Why those three tasks? Each is part of Gods restorative plan: restoration of soul, mind, and body. Our Creator desires His children to be holistically restored. I did a study of these three tasks. I counted every verse in the four Gospels that mentions Jesus preaching (that is, specific topics related to the Good News), teaching (on matters not tied to the Gospel, like godly living) and healing. Of the 3, 779 verses in all four Gospels, a whopping 2, 701 of themseventy-two percentmention Jesus doing one of these three tasks. Forty-eight of the seventy-two percent feature Jesus teaching. Healing and preaching each
represent twelve percent. (The remaining twenty-eight percent includes passages like Jesus travel patterns or background information). The Biblical Purpose of Restoration Consider the details of one of Jesus healings. Remember the remarkable Matthew 12:9-13 story of Jesus healing the mans shriveled hand in the Temple? There is literally no other verse like it. Again, the Hebrew word abed means both work and worship. So it is easier to see why Jesus had no problem workingand worshippingon the Sabbath. On the seventh day in the Temple, Jesus says:Stretch out your hand. So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. The distorted hand is completely restoredmade just like his healthy hand. It returns to the complete condition the Creator intendednothing more or less.
The Greek for restored means returned to its former state, the same word used in Acts 3, where Peter heals a beggar, gives the crowd a brief history lesson, and then tells them Good News: It is Jesus name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him (Acts 3:16b). Peter further tells the crowd to repent and be ready for Christs return: He [Jesus] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything (Acts 3:21). More on Biblical Restoration Restore everything. Thats the Fathers intention for His Creation, because His role for this fourth universal question is Ultimate Restorer. By preaching, teaching, & healingwhich the Great Physician performs in 75% of all Gospel versesJesus work brings restoration.
His work combines redemption for salvation and rejuvenation for all other forms of complete health, such as that of mind, body, and relationships. The core of restoration is redemptionit is essential if we are to be reunited with God. Then God continues of holistic rejuvenation in our lives and in the world. Jesus job description was R and R. Normally, R and R means Rest and Relaxation. But Jesus upgrades that term to a revolutionary version of R and R: Redemption and Rejuvenation. Our Great Physician knows we all need complete healing. III. Our Calling: The Same Restoration Chapter 6 cites our first Image duty from Our Origin. Chapter 8 gives our second duty: Our Relationships. The third duty is Our Calling. We believers offer the same Christ-centered R and R to the world.
Thats why we are here. Christs disciples are so eager for the Bibles promise of complete restoration of creation they press Him for it immediately prior to His ascension to heaven: Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6). The disciples timetable is a little short-sighted, because our Makers calendar calls for that event to occur a bit later. But they are absolutely correct that the Father has a restorative Plan for all Creation. Ultimate restoration is yet to occur, so we are confident it will happen one day, for two reasons: (1) Scripture promises it, and (2) daily restoration describes Jesus earthly workand ours. How R and R Compares to The Great Commission
Again, Jesus only work is to do the Fathers Will. The core of that Will is the message of redemption (John 6:38-40). The Great Physicians comprehensive work becomes the same work His disciples inherit. Note the word we (in John 9:4a) when Jesus says to His followers: As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. As those saints labored with Jesus, we disciples are given similar obligationslike the duties to love other believers (John 13:34-35); to teach and to practice all of the Bible (Mt. 5:17-20); to love our enemies (Mt. 5:43-48); to honor God and to obey government, as much as it is possible (Mt. 22:15-22); to be a Good Samaritan to needy people (Luke 10:25-37); and to both love and fear God (Mk. 12:18-34; Lk. 12:4-7) Those commands indicate diverse rejuvenation ministries showing the complete restoration of all human domains: the physical, mental, emotional, social, moral, and spiritual life. As in the earlier case of redemption (Jn. 6:38-40), it is crucial to see our Lord did not simply tell us to do rejuvenation ministries, He first shows us. In Chapter 2, this equation noted: redemption + rejuvenation = restoration. We partner with the Restorer of all things to help people become holy whole. More R and R Comparison with Great Commission
Only this full job description does justice to all of the Great Physicians restoration ministries. Anything less discredits the Sons total service and the fullness of Gods Word. If we settle for less, the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 is dishonored, as it reduces Christs command to disciples. Our life purpose, then, is to continue Jesus life purpose (except for His role as Messiah)to partner with the God of ultimate restoration, so that we leave people, places, and things more complete than when we found them. Note these few clarifications: First, all nations in Matthew 28:19a includes the person in the mirror. Dont forget your own discipleship needs. Second, value human choice. When any individual refuses your attempt to help him toward restoration, never manipulate him. Third, since we never fully know the Fathers mind, let Him handle the outcomes. God only asks us to be faithful. In sum, Jesus performs a wide range of rejuvenation ministries to make people, places, and things more renewed. The Great Physician dispenses a comprehensive plan for restoration. We followers can never do less. Restoration Does Not Equal Professional Ministry
You might respond: Okay, so the Churchs life purpose is to continue Jesus life purpose, but how does His R and R design specifically apply to me? Jesus indirectly supports all kinds of vocations and avocations as He champions the causes of people involved in building, gardening, and farming, ruling and leading, educating, worshiping and playing musical instruments, banking and managing money, and judgingamong others. Jesus values work within the family, church, personal relationships, and business. And we are further assured that these important activities continue to find their upgraded significance in heaven (see Isa. 65:17-22; Rev. 22:4-5). On a related topic the Churchs diverse work does not require every believer to be part of professional service. Christians who are not officially in ministry can restore Gods creation just as saints who are called to a Christian profession. Recall that Jesus represents both categories, modeling life as a carpenter
for eighteen years and then as a minister for three. Regardless of His job title, the Son obeys the Father by doing restorative work for all twenty-one of His adult years (starting at age 12 in Jewish culture). Lukes Unique Gospel Contribution It is Providential that the only Scripture writer who is a physician (one who looks after total human health) includes Spirit-led details of Jesus life from birth to age twelve. The full scope of Jesus life are not isolated to His last three years. Luke records that Jesus, from eight-days-old to twelve-years-old, increases in stature, grows in favor with God, and grew in favor withman (Luke 2:40, 52). Jesus begins His restorative work at least by age twelve, the traditional coming of age for a Jewish man, not age thirty. One surprising idea in Luke 2:49 is that this twelve-year-old says to His parents, I must be about my Fathers business(or) in my Fathers house, depending on the translation.
The surprise is that neither of these two italicized words is the best English word. That Greek word (a plural article) is more ambiguous, so the verse is better translated broadly: I must be part of my Fathers activities, interests, and works which necessarily includes activities in his House. This means that by the age of twelve Jesus both knew His Fathers work and was doing it. Correspondingly this means Jesus first vocational callingwhat His Father expressly plans for Him to dowas carpentry work. This is a vital point. More on Jesus Life and Work Following Luke 2:49 (and for 18 years after age 12), Jesus is continuously about his Fathers business through His day-in-and-day-out calling as a carpenter. For 18 years
the Son of God is totally obedient to His Father. Within His carpentry calling, Jesus fully and faithfully restores the Fathers world. How could He restore while planing doors and framing cabinets? Marys son is a skilled craftsman and an honest businessman, mastering the abilities of competency, quality of product, and excellence associated with doing any job well. We also expect He extends kindness and fairness to customers and others. In short, by performing His carpentry calling Jesus models work for all followers: He always left the people, places, and things He encounters more restored than when He found them. This admirable example of Jesus may mean that it is more important to God what we do in our lives than what we choose for our livelihoodwho we are in our job rather than the specific job we select. Dont misunderstand, the concept of biblical calling is important and it may include a specific task. Like parenting, pastoring, or painting. But every saint is always called, in a fuller sense, to total restoration. Two Kinds of Calling
This may be a helpful analogy, which is biblical in principle. It extends from Chapter 2, featuring the trio of purposes the Maker has for His entire creation. Distinguish two types of calling; calling that is unique versus Calling that is uniform for every child of God. The first category, more or less, defines our particular contribution to the Kingdom. The second is our common task, including those duties outlined in the Great Commission. To value the difference, the former is put in lower-case and the latter in uppercase, because of their relative importance. For example, if you are personally called to parenting and your friend is called to pastoring, both may have chosen Gods best area to serve individually. But if neither person restores, both miss the uniform (and core) Calling for all saintsthe non-negotiable duty for every Christian. Our work for and worship of God, then, are not so much about particular titles (by relative comparison). They are what every believer is to do. That is why the disciple Matthew (also called Levi) and Zacchaeus, both tax collectors, have unique callings. One is supposed to join Jesus band and the other is to serve as a typical tax collector. Neither, however, is exempt from the uniform Calling of restoration. More than People Are Restored
Besides People, consider the two other categories of restoration, both of which Jesus confronts: Places and Things. First, Jesus restores at least four prominent places of authority in His teachings: 1. The place of marriage and home 2. The place of government 3. The place of the Scripture 4. The place of Sabbath Restoring the place of marriage and home. The restoration of marriage and home is noted in Chapter 2. In Matthew 19:1-8, Jesus is asked why He does not support Moses lenient rules of divorce. He verbally returns to the New Eden Standard or the Creators original design for marriage. After quoting from two pre-sin Eden passages in Matthew 19, the Master Teacher summarizes that Moses liberal divorce laws are based upon Israels hardened hearts. Then, Jesus
concludes, But it was not this way [of liberal divorce laws] from the beginning (v. 8b). In other words, as harsh and irrelevant as our Lords words may first sound (within a permissive culture). Jesus is positive that Gods pre-Fall design of marriage and home is still the best plan for everyone! Restoring Government and Scripture The place of government. Christ also upholds government authority more than once. This fact is significant because of the popular (albeit erroneous) view that the Messiah would soon establish political reign. Two illustrations arise from Matthew 17:24-28: (1) Jesus general support of the foreign Roman government and (2) a specific illustration of Jesus habit of tax payments, even though He knows He is exempt as Gods son. The place of Scripture. All of Scripture is reinforced repeatedly in Jesus teachings, especially the significance of Gods Word. We are to be: 1. Teaching all that the Bible instructs (Mt. 5:17-19) 2. Knowing the Bible accurately (six times the phrase, Youve heard it said
but I say from Mt. 5:21ff, stresses proper interpretation); and 3. Obeying all of Gods Word. (Mt. 5:19b). Restoring the Place of Sabbathand Things Sabbath-keeping receives attention by Jesus support of Scripture. Matthew 12:1-8 and Mark 2:27-28 reinstate the original purpose of the Seventh Day. Then, Jesus makes it clear that this law was always meant to serve people, not vice versa. Finally, Christ stresses that He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Also, at least three categories of Things have their value restored by Jesus: 1. NatureThis topic includes the signs in the sky, often used to forecast weather (Mt. 16:1-3a); 2. FoodAfter the 5,000 are fed, Jesus issues an invaluable restorative principle of ecology: Gather up the leftovers that nothing be wasted (John 6:12); 3. Living ThingsAnimal and Plant Kingdoms (in Mt. 6:26-32) teach lessons of restoration, respectively, through Gods Sovereign care for the birds of the air (also see Mt. 10:29) and for His created beauty in the lilies of the field (Mt. 6:28).
So, Jesus daily exhibits how we are to live on earthour lifelong workthrough our never ending duty of comprehensive restoration of all Creation. Supernatural Power to Restore The Name of Jesus is extremely powerful. It was through the name of Jesusand the names of the Father and the Holy Spiritthat our Lord issues the Great Commissions power in Matthew 28. It is so powerful it might be compared (through a very weak human analogy) to a supernatural charge card. Or, simply, the Masters Card. The Masters Card ALL Authority is MineGo make disciples, baptizing them in the Trinitys Name, teaching them to obey all I taught and I am ALWAYS with you ~Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20) Your Credit Line: Unlimitedthrough Jesus Name Your Name: (Your signature is required to access Jesus Power) You wouldnt dare leave home without it! The Back of the Masters Card
With this analogy, its not difficult to see how Gods power could also be abused. The very first case of identity theft is recorded in Acts 19:13-20. Seven sons of a Jewish chief priestall non-Christianswere using the power of the Masters Card to cast out demons. But it wasnt police who busted this unauthorized groupit was a demon! Guaranteed Promises of The Masters Card Power: Acts 4:30The Early Churchs prayer to God: Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. Protection: John 17:11-12Holy Father, protect them by the power of your nameI protected them and kept them safe Provision: Acts 3:16It is Jesus name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing Presence: Acts 2:38Peter replied, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. More Explanation of the Masters Card Four outstanding Promises come with every Masters Card, as the back of the Card indicatesand there are no hidden charges!! Gods Power Gods Protection Gods Provision Gods Presence Recall an earlier Restoration focus: Acts 3:16 (in Gods Provision) links with this books restoration theme. Peter is preaching in Acts 3:16, describing how the crippled beggar is healed: Twice this Apostle says it was through faith in the name of Jesus that complete healing came to this man. Peter was proclaiming the total restoration of that manthe primary task our Master passes on to us. This healing is more than physical, as Peter explicitly
associates salvation with that miracle in Acts 3:14, 19, 23, and 26. Five verses later the total restoration of all creation is one of the benefits that accompanies Christs return to earth (v. 21). Why We are on Earth While we wait for the Sons return, the Father uses every willing believer to restore His Creation. His grace will usher in eternity in His time, but until then, He wants us to continue Jesus total restoration. Within this concept of full restoration (redemption and rejuvenation), we each locate our common lifelong purpose. Obeying this purpose both honors our heavenly Father and yields exquisite joyjust as Jesus and His 72 disciples show in their missionary campaign of Luke 10:1-24. The disciples blend of teaching, healing, and preaching (commanded in verses 5-11) brings overwhelming joy, as they emphasize the rejuvenation
ministry of exorcism (v. 17). Jesus modifies their joy (in v. 20). Consider this paraphrase: Yes! the Son says, You have every reason to rejoice. But be sure to upgrade your joy. Dont focus on exorcisms; dont settle for those rejuvenation ministries. Celebrate redemptionthe coreillustrated by the fact that your names are now written in heaven! That should bring you out-of-this-world-joy! Concluding Thoughts Why are we here?, the fourth life question asks. The answer is participation in total restoration. This universal query about our lifework is satisfied by what all saints must do, regardless of individual callings. That biblical answer demonstrates Gods strong desire that people regain their
complete health. As Gods junior partnersHis internswe need to daily attempt, by His power, to leave all people, places and things more restored than we found them. Wanting to make our lifework abundantly clear, God summarizes the Christian life as a life that does good. This good is not the same as humanistic religions. This is a pronounced expression of Gods good. Peter makes this distinction clear, as he simply describes Jesus entire life of ministry like this: he [Jesus] went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him (Acts 10:38b). Christ-followers honor God when we do the same as Jesus. Obedient believers become Christ-like by this task, since Gods Image is renewed. Chapter 10 The Role of Submissive Servant: Jesus Answer to How? In theological terms, this question of submission is ultimately answered during the Holy Week, between Palm Sunday and Easter. The Sons solution to this final question embraces total trust in His heavenly Father, whose own complementary role features Sovereign care. What Biblical Submission Doesnt and Does Mean
Jesus displays godly submission to His Father and His Will. Jesus also submits in His service to the world as Suffering Servant. A pertinent fact from this book bears repeating: On the one hand, Jesus life is totally unique, so nothing of His Messiahship is intended for replication. On the other hand, the opposite is true: Jesus humanity is precisely designed for His disciples emulation, as the Apostle Paul knows and commands: Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). What Godly Submission Does Not Mean There are many topics we are not talking about, when we discuss the biblical submission of Jesus life. Its not being a yes manor womanwhen youre always agreeing with your superiors. Its not being a doormat, when you really think your ideas dont matterso people figuratively walk all over you. And, above all, biblical submission based upon Jesus life does not mean you never use your mind, emotions, or will in responsible ways. The next section illustrates the true meanings of Biblical Submission. What Godly Submission Means
In Gethsemanes Garden, it is important to observe Jesus submission of His own will (vs. the Fathers Will) and His subsequent need for (sinless) self-denial. Recall Gethsemanes sober settingbefore Jesus prayer! Following His last Passover meal, Jesus and the Eleven head out to the Mount of Olives, as they often did (Mt. 26:30). Jesus requests that His followers pray (Lk. 22:40). Jesus selects His three closest disciples to be with him (Mt. 26:37). Our Lord retreats to a solitary place about a stones throw beyond them (Lk. 22:41). An angel strengthens Christ (Lk. 22:43). Jesus experiences anguish (Lk. 22:44a). Jesus is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death (Mt. 26:38). Jesus agonizes so intensely He possibly sweats blood (Lk. 22:44). And Jesus fell with his face to the ground to start praying (Mt. 26:39a). Three Key Points Christ followers should memorize Mark 14:36, for it raises three points that the other two synoptic Gospels dont: Key Point #1Only Mark opens with, Abba, Father. Though Abba means Father in Aramaic, Jesus introduction is not redundant, but intimate.
Key Point #2Only Mark refers to one of Gods attributes, omnipotence. As it is earlier acknowledged in Chapter 10:27, Mark repeats the Sons belief that the Father is able to do anything. Key Point #3Dont miss this last vital fact. Only Mark is led by the Holy Spirit to select an imperative word within Jesus prayer, so that the Son literally commandsbetter still, He begs!the Father: Take this all away! Jesus essentially screams out with tears: Get rid of the plan that involves the Cross, which is why I came to earth! Have you ever heard Good Friday proclaimed from this angle? Reviewing Gethsemanes Prayer Again, heres the logical order for Jesus prayer in Mark 14:36. Notice the direct link between the second and third points: 1. Father, you are my intimate Daddy! 2. Daddy, you can do anything! 3. FatherDaddyplease, I beg Youbecause You are all-powerful
take away this plan of suffering on the cross! Can you see and feel Jesus intense painall for us? Do you hear what the Son is pleading for? Until we do, we can not fully understand any more of this crucial portion of Gethsemane or His death on the Cross. All three Gospel writers add: Yet not what I will but what you will. And thats a fantastic ending! Thank God for it. But dont read that ending too quickly. Dont miss Christs commandHis last hope and plea: Take it all away, Daddy! Another Angle of Gethsemane Restating these prayers from another angle, our Lords struggles indicate: Jesus knows the Fathers Plan A (the Cross); Jesus also knows Plan B, because any plan other than plan A (even to cancel Plan A) is Plan B; and Jesus not only knows Plan B, in His mind, but He: (1) articulates it; (2) prefers it, initially; and (3) begs His Father for it. Based on Jesus personal model, biblical submission means a deliberate choice to totally trust God and His Will, even though we may have contemplated competing plans earlier. This approach of Jesus submission to the Fathers Will is more human (real to
life), more healthy (articulating His preference for Plan B, before His submission), and more comprehensive than the explanations that most teachers take. Each of our Lords Gethsemane experiences are requisite for understanding how Christ comes to closure on His own fifth question, How do I get to where I must go? Christs personal experiences are important for us to know that we might possibly do the same things in our journeys. Patriarchal Submission to Sovereignty Profound Submission to Gods Will is found in Patriarch Josephs words: His brothers then came and threw themselves down before Joseph. We are your slaves, they said. But Joseph said to them, Dont be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, dont be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. Joseph tells his fearful brothers (Genesis 50:18-21) that three blessings have come from Yahwehs intervention: God protects him, provides for him, and personalizes His care for him. Joseph passes those blessings on to them. Joseph understands he is in the exact place the Sovereign Lord wants him. Though his brothers desire harm for Joseph, Gods power turns bad into good. No need for
retaliation. With Gods help, many people are saved from famine (Gen. 50:19-21a). Joseph holds the exact position the Sovereign Lord provides him. As a top leader in Egypt, Joseph provides for his family as God provides for himmercifully (Gen. 50:21b). Joseph takes the exact perspective of his brothers the Sovereign Lord wants for him. Joseph exhibits Gods kindnesses. At the end of his message, Scripture says Joseph: reassured them and spoke kindly to them (Gen. 50:21c). Three Transferable Benefits How does this story translate to the 21 st century? Benefits are greater than most realize. Blessing #1Dont Fear, Because We are Virtually Invincible When we speak of Gods Sovereignty, our talk is dominated with words like Omnipotent, and Totally in Charge. We should never forget how practical Gods Sovereignty is in the Bible. Recall Jesus reference to the Fathers care for His creation. In Matthew 10:29 the Lord notes the low cost of sparrows, then adds, Yet not one of them will fall on the ground apart from the will of your Father. The Fathers knowledge is not the primary subject. The Sons attention centers on Gods Mighty WillHis Plan for birds! In John 19:11 the Son makes reference to Gods Providence. Hours before His death, Jesus tells
Pilate, You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. One angle from which to view our Grace-backed invincibility is from Luke 12:4-7, a one-of-a-kind Scripture. Five times Jesus uses the word phobos (fear). The first time he says dont fear Satan (who can only kill the human body), and the fifth time he says dont be afraid of death because people are worth more than many sparrows. In between, our Lord commands us to fearthree timesto fear God, who can kill the human body then send people to hell. Jesus reminds us what is really importanteternal life. John 5:24 says we are now living eternal life. Whats the worst that can happen? Our bodies diebut our spirits (with resurrected bodies) life forever. We, like Josephs brothers, have no need to fear evil. Blessing #2Dont Worry, We Have Everything We Need What would you do if you got a check for $1.5 million? The next day you got another check. The day after brought the identical gift. The next three days follow suit. A note is attached to the final check : You will receive $1.5 million daily for the rest of your life! You only have to sign it every day, or it becomes worthless. What would be your response? Skeptical or ecstatic? In less than two years, youd be a billionaire! Something like this happens in the story of Yates Pool. The story centers on a impoverished rancher
who, during the depression, is close to losing his property. In desperation, Mr. Yates consents to a wildcat well drill on his West Texas property. The drilling crew strike an oil reserve that yields 80,000 barrels per day from only one well. Other drillings result in more than twice that. Three decades following the first drilling, reports still project a potential 125,000 barrels of oil per dayfrom only one well! Mr. Yates, in a matter of hours on one afternoon, is radically transformed from a very poor sheep rancher on government subsidy to a multibillionaire. The key to this story is not Yates rags-to-riches change. The remarkable part is that Mr. Yates was always outrageously richhe just never knew it! Yates is clueless about what he owns. There is a similar spiritual condition that strikes every Christian called the Yates Syndrome. It is a universal Christian disorder, when saints fail to tap all heavenly riches. God promises Christ-followers are given everything we need for life and godliness for our journey (2 Peter 1:3). Few of us seem to discoveror exhibitblessings of that truth. Blessing #3Dont Doubt that God is Personal and Kind There is a personal side of Sovereignty that is found in Gods Image, specifically in our human will to choose. The Sovereign Lord originally creates our trait of personal choice, and He is still the fiercest Defender of that human attribute. The third blessing of Sovereignty has two sides.
Side One: God Never Coerces People The best expression of Jesus non-coercive method is modeled in Mark 6:1-6. As Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth, many are amazed by His message. But scoffers eventually cry out, Isnt this the carpenter, the son of Mary? (v. 3a). So Mark adds: And they took offense at him (v. 3b). Jesus cites that a prophet is not accepted in His hometown, and the story concludes: He could not do any miracles there, except [a few]. And He was amazed at their lack of faith (vv. 5-6). His hearers stubbornly refuse to believe. It shocks the Lord. And it limits Him, too. Consider the issues at stake: Jesus returns home for His first family reunion. Humanly speaking, if there is anybody He wants to save most, it is these people. His next of kin. Also, the message Jesus proclaims is the most important truth of all time. Yet, figuratively, He allows His hands to be tied by His listeners. Why? Because Jesus fiercely supports Images freedom of choice. If ever there is a time to manipulateto coerce people, for the seemingly honorable end justifies the
means reasoningit is now. But Christ did not manipulate. He never did. Side Two: God Desires Us to Own What We Believe The second implication of our Makers kindness is that He wants us to take ownership for what we believethat our beliefs are really ours. Here is how ownership may progress in us: Level #1Ownership of a Personal Viewpoint in friendly circumstances (Jesus asks, in Matthew 16:15, Who do you say I am?); Level #2Ownership is expressed within Family Responsibilities (Children ask fathers, in Exodus 12:26, what does Israels history mean to you? Ex. 13:8, 14-15); Level #3Ownership Regardless of Others Decisions (Joshua makes this independent claim about his own family: Butwe will serve the Lord [Joshua 24:14-15]. Level #4Ownership Within the Context of Temptations to do evil and to compromise faith in God (Gen. 39:5-12); Level #5Ownership Despite Mistreatment or Enjoyment of Evil Pleasures (Hebrews 11:2425 says Moses chose to be mistreatedthan to enjoy the pleasure of sin; Also Mk. 9:24); and Level #6Ownership Even in the Face of Death (Dan. 3:16-18; 28b; and 6:10-23). The purpose of ownership, then, is to know and to live by what we personally value, according to Gods Word and Will. Chart 10.2Summary of Five Universal Questions and Jesus Five Roles Five Universal Jesus Five Roles
Questions Where did I come from? What is My Background? Who am I? Master Teacher The Fathers The Primary Our Response Roles Focus to Jesus
Faithful Creator The Word of God Praise (1 Pet. 4:19) Faithful Learner Holy One (Ps. The Way of God Trust 71:22) Son of Man Heavenly Father The Witness of
Thanksgiving (Mt. 6:9) God Why am I here? How do I get to where I must go? Great Physician Submissive Servant One to restore everything (Acts 3:21) Sovereign Lord (Acts 4:24-28) The Work of God The Will of God Obedience
Submission Conclusion Master Teacher, Faithful Learner, Son of Man, Great Physician, and Submissive Servanteach role represents Jesus heartfelt desire to know, to love, and to serve His people. All five roles reflect the Incarnation, for Christ comes to earth as a full human being, ready to sacrifice Himself. He is, undoubtedly, God with us. It comes down to a personal choice: What will you do with what you now know? How will you live, now that you know the five roles Christ left for us to emulate? Its never a matter of ifif you choosebut how. Each of us regularly chooses who we will serve. God does not manipulate. Thats not His way, because it directly conflicts with who He is and how He made us. And, since our Creator is the most ardent advocate for our individual choice, He prefers a genuine No from His human creature over an insincere Yes. C.S. Lewis states it best in this familiar summary: There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, Thy will be done, and those to whom God says, in the end, Thy will be done. All that are in Hell choose it.