Class Notes: 3/27/2013
Mark 1:12-13; Matt 4:2-3; Jesus' testing after he accepted the role of Savior and Messiah
In our verse by verse study of Mark we are presently in Mark 1:12-13; where we see that God the Holy Spirit led Jesus out into the desert wilderness area to be tested by satan for 40 days. In order to properly understand His temptations we are presently looking at the doctrines that describe his unique person.
When we left off last time we were discussing the doctrine of kenosis that means that while he was co-equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit in his hypostatic union He didn't depend upon His divine attributes for power. Heb 2:14,15; Phil 2:6-8; the Greek word "kenoo" in verse 7 means "He emptied Himself."
During his mission in unglorified humanity Jesus Christ subordinated His deity to the will of the Father so He did not independently use the power of His deity in order to accomplish the Father's plan. This means that, during His incarnation, He depended exclusively upon the sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit.
He did not give up His divine essence. The omnipresence of His deity was always present but in his unglorified true humanity he lived as a man, indwelt and filled with doctrine by means of the Holy Spirit. John 1:14;
He was always filled with doctrine by means of the Holy Spirit so He was never commanded to keep on being filled with doctrine by means of the Holy Spirit. Phil 2:5; The Greek word "phroneo" that is translated "attitude" means thinking it is translated "mind" in the KJV. Jesus was always thinking Bible Doctrine.
Because of this He never squelched or grieved the Spirit so John 3:34; states that He was given the Holy Spirit without measure to speak the words (The Greek word "rhema" that means applied doctrine or concepts and principles) of God.
We saw that the Holy Spirit was present in a special way at the baptism of Jesus Christ to guarantee that He would sustain Jesus Christ during His mission in unglorified humanity. Mark 1:10;
The Holy Spirit empowered the humanity of Jesus Christ during His ministry, in His preaching and performing miracles in the power of the Spirit Luke 4:14, 15, 18; Matt 12:18, 28;
"if" in verse 28 is a 1st class condition, " if and I do." Jesus Christ gave Himself for crucifixion through the power of the Holy Spirit Heb 9:14.
The Holy Spirit had a part in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Rom 8:11; 1Pet 3:18; Rom 1:4;
Ten days before Pentecost Christ breathed on the disciples the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit came upon the entire church on Pentecost initiating the Church Age. John 20:22; Acts 2:4;
The present ministry of the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ is to glorify Jesus Christ in the life of the believer. John 16:14; John 7:39;
When Church Age believers walk by means of the Spirit they glorify Christ because they are functioning "in Him." He is "the Word." and he is glorified when they live by means of Him " or by means of the Word."
This means that Jesus Christ was the first to function in this unique manner and He thereby set the pattern and the precedent for the spiritual life for Church Age believers by walking in the Word by means of the Holy Spirit. Heb 12:2; The word translated "author" is the Greek word "archegos" that means one who establishes or example.
Another doctrine that comes into play in His tests is the doctrine of the hypostatic union that states that Jesus Christ has two natures. He is God and He is man, undiminished deity and true humanity in one person forever.
So we have the uniqueness of the person of Christ in that He is God, and therefore equal to God the Father and God the Holy Spirit but at the same time He is also true perfect humanity. This makes Him equal to and superior to all members of the human race, and at the same time different from the Father and different from the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the impeccability of Christ also comes into view. Impeccability exists in two concepts. The deity of Christ is not temptable and it is not peccable. The concept of peccability means liable to sin or able to sin.
The deity of Christ is not able to sin and the deity of Christ is not temptable. From the standpoint of His deity Jesus Christ is impeccable and non-temptable; from the standpoint of His humanity Jesus Christ is temptable but not peccable.
When it is all put together in the hypostatic union the person of Christ is temptable but not peccable, and this again contributes to the uniqueness of the person of Christ in his test.
The doctrine of the temptability of Jesus Christ also comes into view. Jesus Christ did not have an old sin nature and in this way He was exactly like the first Adam. The first Adam came into the world without an old sin nature; Jesus Christ came into the world without an old sin nature through the virgin birth.
It was the virgin birth that separated Jesus Christ from all naturally born members of the human race. In the history of the human race only one person is virgin-born and only one person therefore is born without an old sin nature and therefore without the imputation of Adam's sin.
So Jesus Christ, the last Adam, and the first Adam started out in exactly the same way and were tempted under the same concept. Their temptation was real, but it did not come from the old sin nature.
Satan himself, using every tactic of wile and deceit that his great genius could think of to cause them to act independently of God, tempted both the first and the last Adam. With the first Adam Satan was successful, with the last Adam Satan was totally unsuccessful the first Adam sinned, the second Adam did not. This is summarized in Rom 5:12; and 1Cor 15:22;
Christ was temptable because it was possible for His humanity to be tempted, but at no point did He personally succumb to any temptation and sin. Heb 4:15;
Jesus Christ was not only tempted was tempted far beyond anything that anyone in the human race has ever known. The temptations of Christ were real and much more difficult than anything we have faced. Some of the temptations were of a nature that we could not ever face them.
Jesus Christ was unique, and the three temptations of Matt 4; are temptations that no one else in the human race has faced in the same way that Jesus Christ did.
While each one of these temptations establishes a principle that we face in temptation the actual temptations that Jesus Christ was presented with that are recorded here in Matthew are unique. Before we examine the specific tests that he faced we are looking at why his tests were unique.
The doctrine of Kenosis established the protocol for his unique person who is simultaneously undiminished deity and perfect true humanity.
This doctrine states that the Holy Spirit sustained the humanity of Christ during His ministry in unglorified humanity. This means that when Christ walked on this earth in His human body before the cross He voluntarily restricted the independent use of His divine attributes.
When it came to miracles He performed His miracles in the power of the Spirit; when it came to delineation of doctrine He did so in the power of the Spirit. He did not use His own divine attributes to operate independently of God.
This is one of the great issues in the temptations of Matt 4; During the period of the incarnation He relied upon the power of the Spirit rather than the independent use of the attributes of His deity.
His attributes were functional however. For example, He knew what the Pharisees were thinking because of His omniscience. He had power to do certain things Himself but He did not use His omnipotence independently of the Father's plan. So the humanity of Christ depended entirely upon the Holy Spirit and the Word (Bible Doctrine)
Matt 4:1; "Then" the Greek word is "tote" that is a particle indicating time. This means that what we have in this passage will be in chronological sequence. The first "tote", translated "then," refers to the fact that immediately after John baptized Jesus Christ this event occurred.
The decision of Jesus Christ to fulfill his mission will be challenged by Satan himself. We see that God the Holy Spirit led Jesus Christ to the testing ground. It states that "Jesus was led up" (under the authority of) the Spirit." "up into the desert to be tempted (tested) by (or from the source of) the devil."
This means that He was filled by means of the Spirit and this resulted in the Holy Spirit leading Him to the place where He would go forty days without food and afterward would be hungry
"To be tempted" is the aorist passive infinitive of the Greek word "pierazo" that means to be put to the test, proven, examined or cross-examined. The aorist tense means every point of time when Jesus was tempted during the forty days. It means that during the 40 days Jesus was constantly being tempted by the devil.
Only three of the temptations are going to be extracted and recorded because they are unique. The person is unique and the temptations are unique. Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2; tell us that He was tempted many times apart from the three that are recorded.
The humanity of Christ received the pressure and it came directly from Satan and was very concentrated. The infinitive indicates that Satan's purpose was to hinder and if at all possible stop Jesus Christ from going to the cross.
The principle is that after His victory Jesus comes to the place of testing and the application is that believers are always tested after a great victory, or after any other kind of a great decision. The believer is always most vulnerable to a defeat immediately after a great victory.
The temptation is to move from indirect pivot power to direct political power. Remember Elijah who snatched personal defeat from God's victory when he switched from pivot power to political power and ordered the prophets of Baal killed.
Matt 4:2; And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
This verse provides us with the background of the temptation; the fact that Jesus Christ is exceedingly hungry. "And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights"
It means to spend the time that ordinarily would be used for normal functions in biological life in recall of doctrine and prayer. In other words, the Bible study and prayer without food is the true concept of fasting. So the humanity of Christ spent this time that would ordinarily be devoted to eating and normal living to prayer and meditating on the Word.
This is an aorist participle and the action of the aorist participle precedes the action of the main verb "he was hungry." He had a 40 day period of prayer and Bible study, without food.
In verses 3-11 we have the three temptations. The first recorded temptation deals with the problem of relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus was tempted to operate independently of the indwelling Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine.
The temptation was designed by Satan to entice Christ into violating the Kenosis principle and to rely upon His own omnipotence rather than on the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine. This temptation was unique because it involved His power as deity to convert stones into bread.
The principle of this temptation is one that believers face every day. Believers are constantly tempted to rely upon the old sin nature rather than the power of the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine. The application to us is that we are tempted to substitute human good for divine good, indirect pivot power for direct political power.
Matt 4:3 "And when the tempter came." The word "tempter" is the present active participle of the Greek word "periazo" so it denotes continuous linear action so it should be translated: "the one who is constantly testing or tempting."
It is a reference to Satan who lives to promote himself (cosmic 1) and to oppose God (cosmic 2). Satan's objective is to get man to operate independently of God and since there are two kinds of men (believers and unbelievers) there are two ways that mankind can operate independently of God.
Satan's objective for unbelievers is to get them to stay away from the cross and to reject the gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior. 2Cor 4:4;
Satan's objective for believers is to get them to function in the power of the old sin nature and emotion rather than in the power of the Spirit and Bible Doctrine so that they will produce human good. Phil 3:18-19;
Satan isn't interested in the production of sin because this hurts his cause but he is interested the production of human good.
The devil does not try to get people to sin. The devil uses people who do not sin. People who are full of human good. These are the self appointed do-gooders and the religious people. The people who are trying to make the world a better place by imposing their ideas on others.
Religion is the greatest system for getting people to act independently of God; this is the whole purpose behind legalism and religion. Since the cross all the devil can do is attempt to keep the unbeliever from accepting the gospel. He no longer can keep Christ from going to the cross.
Satan's objective for believers is not to get them to sin but rather to get them to become self-righteous and religious resulting in the performance of human good from the old sin nature.
He attempts to use human good to prove to God that he can establish an order on this earth that is very moral and very self-righteous and at the same time is totally independent of God and his plan of grace.
Matt 4:3; And the tempter came and said to Him " if (first class condition)] you are (if you are always) the Son of God (and you are)." Satan, recognizes that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel; all fallen angels are in eternity.
Just like humanity is divided into two categories, the angelic creation is also divided into the two categories of the elect and the fallen angels. Satan is the leader of the fallen angels and their eternal destiny has already been determined. Matt 25:41; the word translated "has been prepared" is the perfect passive of the Greek verb "hetoimasmenon" that means it was prepared in the past with the result that it continues forever.
Satan recognizes that Jesus is the Son of God but it does not save him because he already had his chance and he is therefore already judged and destined for eternity in the lake of fire but we see from this that the angels recognize the Deity of Christ.
Satan also knows that that if he can get Jesus to turn stones into bread, and act independently of the Holy Spirit and Bible Doctrine the plan of the incarnation fails. So at this particular point the issue of whether or not Jesus would successfully fulfill his mission as Savior depended upon His response to the temptation.
"command" or "tell the stones to become bread; "become" or "be made" is translated from the aorist middle subjunctive of the Greek verb "ginomai" (Maybe you will or maybe you won't participate in commanding them at this time.)
In verse 2 we saw that Jesus' humanity is hungry after 40 days of fasting and it would be very easy for the Son of God to turn stones into bread to solve this problem for Himself.
But turning the stones into bread would mean that He was depending upon His own volition and upon His own divine power rather than the power of the indwelling Spirit and the and plan and will of the Father so the relationship of the humanity of Jesus to the indwelling Holy Spirit and his subordination to the Father is being tested.
Jesus is being tempted to do a right thing in an wrong way that is apart from the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word in violation of the plan of the Father.
Jesus is being tempted regarding the sufficiency of the grace of the Father for His daily needs. We face the same issue today. The Father's provision is grace. The issue is grace versus works. Dependence on the Father or dependence on ones self.
Must Jesus grab for Himself by turning stones into bread or can He wait for the Father. He knows that the Father's purpose for Him is to go to the cross and even though He has gone without food for forty days he knows that He will not die until He goes to the cross because that is the Father's plan.
This a test to see if He has the patience in the suffering to wait for the Father's plan to work out or is He going to jump out ahead of the Father's plan?
The issue to us is do we have the patience to wait for the Father's plan to develop in our lives or are we going to jump out ahead of it?
This presents the test of faith-rest. The question is are we going to trust the Father or are we going to do it ourselves?
The Father will not permit the humanity of Christ to starve to death. The scriptures of the Old Testament describe exactly how Jesus is going to die. The entire chapter of Isa 53; Genesis 3:15, and all of the Levitical offerings presented the cross.
Jesus Christ is prepared so He knows the Old Testament. He has been fasting, which means He has been thinking about the Old Testament scriptures, and He knows that there is no scripture that says that Messiah will starve to death in the desert.
This has tremendous application to us: Can we depend upon the plan of the Father for our lives or do we have to jump out ahead with human viewpoint thinking?
The potential issue here though is that if we do not know doctrine you have nothing to believe and you do not have enough faith (doctrine) to use the faith-rest technique.
This temptation brings up the question; if God doesn't open the door so that you can see what you need to do very soon, are you going to fall apart?
If you do not see the end from the beginning all you need is to know is that the Word says is that God will provide your daily needs, just as He provided your salvation that was the biggest need you ever had,
All that it requires on your part is the application of the faith-rest technique and you can have a life of perfect peace and blessing in the midst of the pressures and testings and trials of life. Isa 26:3;
There is no command for you to fall apart through anxiety and fear. The command is for us to cast our cares on Him and wait. 1Pet 5:6-7; Matt 6:25; Isa 40:31;
This test presented Jesus Christ with this same temptation... should I force it to happen myself or wait on God and His timing.
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