Jesus and the Will of God. What does it mean to “follow in the steps of Jesus?”. We could look at the specific deeds of Jesus and be immensely profited. The outward actions of Jesus are perfect examples of how each of us should act. What does it mean to “follow in the steps of Jesus?”.
The world is constantly pushing the Christian to be ashamed of teaching, standing, serving like Jesus did. The examples can be of great encouragement to us in our fight of faith!
The greater goal of the Christian is to have the “mind of Christ” in us. (Phil 2:5)
Philippians 2:5- Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
This involves the mind, the will and all of our heart! We must learn to have the same thoughts like Jesus.
How can we possibly do this? Let us study the heart of Jesus and His relationship to the will of God.
There are four servant songs in Isaiah that vividly describe the mind of Jesus. (Isa 42, 49, 50, 52-53)
The power of the Servant begins with Hisear (Isa 50:4-5)
Isaiah 50:4-5- " The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. 5 The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.
His tongue indeed was powerful but it was guided by His ear.
The Servant’s heart was opened to God. He really trusted God!
It is a very risky thing to completely open your heart (ear) to another.
If we would just truly listen then look at the power available to us. (Psa 119:99; 1 Thess 2:13)
Psalm 119:99- I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13- For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
The ear of Christ led Him to the cross. (Isa 50:6-7)
Isaiah 50:6-7- I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. 7 " For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.
He was scourged, He was slapped, had his hair pulled out and was spit upon. (Mt 26:67)
Matthew 26:67- Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,
He was not in any way ashamed but determined.
He had a face like flint. (Ezek 3:8-9)
Ezekiel 3:8-9- "Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 "Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house."
How many have tried to make you ashamed of what is right?
Can you see what the disciples saw? (Lk 9:51-53; Jn 11:16)
Luke 9:51-53- Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
John 11:16- Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."
For what purpose has God placed you here on this earth?
Jesus taught that the Old Testament was the very words of God!
He claimed the writers were moved by the Holy Spirit. (Mark 12:36)
Mark 12:36- "For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool." '
He claimed the word of God is without contradiction. (John 10:34-35)
John 10:34-35- Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods" '? 35 "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),
Man was to live by every word from God! (Matt 4:4, 7, 10)
Matthew 4:4- But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' "
Matthew 4:7- Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the LORD your God.' "
Matthew 4:10- Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "
Jesus showed how God’s words are to be respected.
Jesus would only do those things that He saw the Father do. (Jn 5:19-20, 30)
John 5:19-20- Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.
John 5:30- "I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Jesus wanted His followers to understand authority and to follow the Father just like He did. (Jn 7:16-17)
John 7:16-17- Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
The respect for the words of God would lead Jesus only to act when the Father gives Him instruction. This stand would lead Jesus to the cross and us to be free from sin! (Jn 8:28-32; 12:32-33)
John 8:28-32- Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." 30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 12:32-33- "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.
Jesus showed how we must empty ourselves and follow Him. When we do as Jesus did then we will honor the Father. (Jn 12:25-28)
John 12:25-28- "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
27 " Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again."
If we stopped at the gospel accounts and did not look at the rest of the New Testament we could not know the mind of Christ!
Jesus was preparing His apostles for the work of delivering the words the Father gave to Him to all mankind. (Jn 16:12-15)
John 16:12-15- "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
The work of the apostles was crucial to the work of Jesus Christ. (Eph 3:3-5)
Ephesians 3:3-5- how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:
Jesus would have no voice, no instruction and even no offer of salvation without the Apostles and prophets having both spoken and written His word. (Acts 2:38-39)
Acts 2:38-39- Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
The early church was founded upon and sustained by the apostle’s doctrine. (Acts 2:42; Eph 2:20)
Acts 2:42- And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Ephesians 2:20- having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
Remember that the Holy Spirit was guiding the delivery of the word and Jesus promised that His word would be preserved! (Mt 24:35)
Matthew 24:35- "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Jesus wants us to have the same mind as He did towards the Father’s will.(Jn 12:48-50)
John 12:48-50- "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him -- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."
Whatever form God gives his word (historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, epistle) it is the very words of God and thus authoritative!
There are some who claim that the New Testament is a “story” or “narrative” and as a consequence has no binding law for future generations to be found in its pages.
How shall we read the Bible? What should be the place of women in “church?” What does Jesus say through the apostles? (1 Cor 14:33-37)
1 Corinthians 14:33-37- For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.
It is these attitudes towards the words of God (authority) that Jesus proclaimed would be taught after He was raised from the dead. (Mt 28:18-20)
Matthew 28:18-20- And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
When men are converted to Christ the rest of their lives as disciples are indentified by this attitude.
We take what God has revealed and we only teach and practice what we are given. (1 Pt 4:11)
1 Peter 4:11- If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorifiedthrough Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
If it is not given by God, it is not to be taught or practiced! (1 Tim 1:3-4)
1 Timothy 1:3-4- As I urged you when I went into Macedonia -- remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.
Do not be ashamed of the Lord or His apostles. (Lk 9:26; 2 Tim 1:8)
Luke 9:26- "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels.
2 Timothy 1:8 - Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,