· Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit
· Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit where he was tempted by the adversary
· Jesus went without food for forty days and was hungry
· The devil tempted him three times and each time Jesus rebuked him with Scripture
· The first was his physical appetite, bread
· Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 in resistance
· The second was his pride, the honor of being the supreme earthly ruler
· The devil claimed the kingdoms of this world as his
· Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:13 in resistance
· The third was testing God, quoting scripture to his benefit rather than God’s will
· Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16 in resistance
· The devil was defeated but had not given up
· Initially Jesus’ teaching was widely praised and word spread fast
· Jesus’ custom was to attend synagogue on the Sabbath
· This synagogue is in his hometown where he grew up
· Jesus read Isaiah 61:1&2 and claimed that he was the fulfillment of that passage
· The people liked his teaching, especially that his words were so filled with grace
· People in his hometown had a hard time reconciling Jesus as prophet and him being a local boy.
· Jesus understood that they had come for a show and not to believe
· He pointed out that they were much like those in the Hebrew scriptures who were faithless and therefor God’s goodness went to the gentiles
· In response they got so angry that it turned into a mob meant to kill him, but he miraculously escaped at the last moment
· After his home, he went to Capernaum
· Again the people were amazed at his message and that he taught it with authority
· The evil spirits inside a man were afraid of Jesus, and identified him as the “Holy One of God”
· Jesus first silenced them, and then he showed his power and authority by commanding them to come out of the man
· The people recognized Jesus’ teaching authority was linked to his authority over the evil spirits
· Jesus then went to Simon’s, aka Peter, home and healed his mother in law.
· Peter was married
· Word spread and Jesus healed people throughout the night.
· As he cast out demons he ordered them to be quiet because they knew him as the Son of God and also as the promised Messiah. (I’m assuming they knew him because they had seen him before when they were angels in heaven)
· Jesus withdrew from the crowds at daybreak
· They wanted more, but he was on a mission to preach in many other towns
Who is Jesus to me? The devil sees Jesus as an opponent that needs to be tripped up, his hometown crowd sees him as a good man who is claiming to be more than he should, the crowds in Capernaum saw Jesus as someone to get healing from, and the evil spirits saw Jesus as an enemy. Of course they also saw Him as the One from heaven who had come as the anointed Messiah and King. Ironically, the demons understood Jesus’ identity better than anyone, though they had long rejected the idea of honoring him as such. However, even their dislike and rejection of him did not keep them from having to obey his commands of them.
Which brings me back to the question, “Who is Jesus to me?” The truth is I have probably treated Jesus like each of these (maybe not as an opponent that needs to be tripped up but definitely the others). I have believed in him, feared him, and run from him at various levels at various times in my life. Probably my biggest guilt though is to view Him the way the crowds at Capernaum did. They were excited about his message and his power, but ultimately they saw him as a spiritual Santa Claus rather than the Holy One who should be submitted to and worshipped. I often approach God wanting more from Him, a kind of “what have you done for me lately” attitude. It may look like I am interested in Him, but often I am just interested in what He will do for me.
I don’t want to miss the real Jesus. Jesus is the Holy One of God that has always existed. Through Him all things were made, through Him we are made right with God, and at the end of what we call time every knee will bow before Him and confess that He is Lord and Master. I want my knee to bow willingly, not just in submission, but in love and thankfulness.
Father in heaven,
Forgive me for being so shallow and treating Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as a cosmic Santa Claus. I have often acted like a spoiled child and have taken you for granted. I’m sorry. I want to continue to grow in my understanding of how great You are and how much You love me. Speak to me today, and help me simply obey, not just to get something from You, but in order to honor You for the great and mighty God You are! Plant the scriptures in my heart, so when I am tempted like Jesus, I might respond with Your Word rather than giving in to my appetites.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen
Posted on Tue, January 6, 2015
by joel king