Tuesday January 14, 2020
Born at the proper time.
Jesus could not have been born at any other time than in the reign of Caesar Augustus, after the Jewish religion, the Greek civilization, and the Roman government had reached their maturity; nor in any other land than Palestine, the classical soil of revelation, nor among any other people than the Jews, who were predestined and educated for centuries to prepare the way for the coming of His infancy.
He never left Palestine. He travelled on His mission of love through Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and Perea; He came as far north as mount Hermon, and once He crossed beyond the land of Israel to the Phoenician border and healed a demonized daughter. We can easily follow Him from place to place, on foot, twenty to thirty miles a day, over green fields, barren rocks, over hill and dale, among flowers and thistles, under olive and fig trees, pitching His tent for a nights rest, ignoring the comforts of modern civilization, but delighting in the unfading beauties of God’s nature, reminded at every step of His wonderful dealings with His people, and singing the psalms of old.
Upon Christ’s shoulders was the responsibility to be the faithful servant of Yavah. Not one man in all of history was able to do it besides Him.
MAR 1:11"Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased."
In Jesus’ time, Psa 2 was interpreted Messianically.
PSA 2:6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
PSA 2:7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, 'Thou art My Son,
Today I have begotten Thee.
PSA 2:8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.
“Thou art My Son” - You are the Messiah.
Directly after this announcement, after the Holy Spirit descends upon Him (ISA 42:1), the Spirit leads Him in the wilderness where the devil tempts Him three times in which the devil begins by claiming, “If you are the Son of God,” a direct challenge to the announcement made by God.
Satan tempts Christ in the fashion that he has tempted all other humans in history. Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted in all things, yet He was without sin. This doesn’t mean He faced every temptation possible to man (He wasn’t tempted with adultery since He never married), but that He faced every category of temptation and those categories were of the greatest force. The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life (1JO 2:16) were heaped upon them and He was the only Man to perfectly and consistently say “No.”
Satan has created a system in this world that rewards giving in to these temptations, yet the reward is feeble and temporary, and eventually the true reward is misery and want and loss.
God’s way, which is the way of the humanity of Christ, initially comes with certain sufferings which are not only the loss of the world’s rewards but also the persecution that comes from a world trained to hate all who are not like them. But, the reward for the way of Christ is a life of true prosperity in love, joy, and peace.
Jesus never once gave in to temptation and so He was the suffering Servant in the world. He had to suffer, not only because He was righteous and so revealed the world’s evil, but also because saving us demanded that He pay our debt. Our debt could only be paid with judgment, and with judgment comes great suffering.
After accomplishing His suffering His reward was great. And, the greatest of His rewards was being given a bride to whom He could reward His life.
PHI 2:5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
PHI 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
PHI 2:7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
PHI 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
PHI 2:9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
PHI 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth,
PHI 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
“In You I am well-pleased” is ISA 42:1 = His calling will be fulfilled as the suffering Servant.
The Father confirms Him as Messiah and then uses ISA 42:1, the opening of the first Servant Song (ISA 42:1-4) to make clear that His calling was to be fulfilled in that prophecy as the suffering Servant who was the hope of Israel and Gentiles alike.
In chapter 41 God says “Behold” the idol-gods and the idolaters, and now (42) “Look at My Servant.”
ISA 41:24 Behold, you [idols] are of no account,
And your work amounts to nothing;
He who chooses you is an abomination.
God often mocks idols: they have to be nailed down in order to avoid being knocked over, they can’t talk, can’t see, have to be carried by a person in order to move, etc.
ISA 41:29 "Behold, all of them [idol worshippers] are false;
Their works are worthless,
Their molten images are wind and emptiness.
Unpartnered to God, man is worthless.
Behold the idols in the world and behold the idol worshippers and then God says to us, behold My Servant.
The first (42:1) and the last (52:13) of the four Servant Songs begin with a command to “See.” It is a command to watch Him carry out the work committed to Him by the Father.
"Is this your son, who you say was born blind? Then how does he now see?"
ISA 42:1 "Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold [grasp];
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
ISA 42:2 "He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
ISA 42:3 "A bruised reed He will not break,
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
In vs. 1 we met the quintessential Servant and now we find the quintessential service. The is exemplified perfectly in the Lord Jesus Christ. His service is unostentatious and unself-advertising.
We would conclude that truth and pure service permeates all and it doesn’t need amplification or help. It doesn’t need the added impulse of shouting, advertising, or marketing. Hence, a quiet, unaggressive, unthreatening ministry is proper to the truth and service of God.
The bruised reed and the burning wick represent the frail and weak. He will not burden them. He did not come to earth looking for the strong. He showed us all that we’re all weak, frail, and alone.
ISA 42:4 "He will not be disheartened or crushed,
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law."
The pressures that destroy others will not destroy Him. Rather, the pressure upon Him will reveal His adequate inner resources, the same resources that He will give to us.