The Hidden Life Of Jesus
By Johnny Tatum
#5) THE UP SLOPE: Jesus Knows He Is Going To Be The King
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us this opportunity to study Your word. I pray that You will actively work in the midst of all our needs, burdens and challenges, so we can clear our minds of things involving the world, we can rest in You, and we can focus on Your Son, Jesus Christ, during this time with You.
Father, as we enter the sacred grounds of communication between You and Your Son, we pray that You would let us look behind that veil and open the eyes of our spirit. And as we read today’s passages from Your word, would You speak in a special way to us and would You illuminate these verses for us? Father, open our eyes; we want to see Jesus.
We ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
After all this time (Jesus is almost thirty years of age): hope – dashed hope – questions – answers – years of not much communication, things finally start to move again. Jesus’ cousin, John (the Baptizer, Immerser), is preaching out in Judea and word gets back to Jesus.
[Messenger:] Your cousin John is out in Judea preaching.
[Jesus:] What is he saying?
[Messenger:] He says that the Spirit of God spoke to him, and He said that John was coming in the spirit of—the power of—Elijah (the one who was to come) to announce the Messiah, who he says is You.
Jesus must have been glad to hear that John, who has spent years in the desert [possibly at a community called Qumran (where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found)], is preaching the Kingdom is coming, and he is preaching about Him. So Jesus thinks Finally, things are starting to move. Jesus goes out to where His cousin is preaching and John baptizes Jesus, not for His sake, but for ours—Jesus is identifying with us! [See our Matthew 3:13-17, “Messiah Arrives” study.]
So Jesus begins His public ministry, and the first thing that happens is that His cousin baptizes Him. What a day that was for Jesus!
Let Us Think About This: For thirty years, Jesus—a perfect Man—has learned who He is through studying the Scriptures – through the illumination of Holy Spirit – through occasional interventions from the Father speaking directly to Jesus’ consciousness. However, there has been no public confirmation of this; that had to make Jesus wonder.
Presented In The Gospels:
In Matthew 3, Jesus comes to be baptized (immersed) by John:
Then Jesus arrives from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have needs to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.
Again, there had been no public confirmation of who Jesus is…until now. As soon as He is baptized, the whole crowd sees a dove coming down from heaven:
And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,
And then the whole crowd hears a voice from heaven:
and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)
What a confirmation for Jesus that would have been! Finally, the Father lets other people see and hear; He says This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Do you think the Father is delighted in His Son? Of course He is! And from His Son’s perspective, finally, after all of these years, there is public confirmation from the Father.
So Jesus begins His public ministry.
Keep In Mind: Jesus always acts on the knowledge He has at the time. We tend to think that early in His ministry, Jesus knew everything that He knew at the end, but He did not. What knowledge does He have early in His ministry? Jesus knows the following:
That explains why the majority of Jesus’ ministry was up in Galilee—called The Great Galilean Ministry—and that is summarized in Matthew 9:
Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Matthew 9:35)
Jesus has been told You are going to be the King; therefore, based on what Jesus knows at this point, He teaches openly about the Kingdom:
Jesus goes through Galilee preaching in the synagogues and healing all people—believers, unbelievers, Jews, Gentiles—who asked to be healed. [In fact, there is never any record of Him refusing to heal somebody.] Jesus must have been confused at first, because some people respond favorably to Him, while others respond hatefully.
Presented In The Gospels:
One of the key miracles of Jesus’ early ministry that is recorded by all four of the gospel writers (see Matthew 14:15-21; Mark 6:35-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:4-13) is: the feeding of the five thousand men—and with the additional women and children, about a total of 10,000-15,000 people—with the five pieces of bread and two fish:
And the day began to decline, and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and get something to eat; for here we are in a desolate place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people.” (For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them recline to eat in groups of about fifty each.” And they did so, and had them all recline. And he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full. (Luke 9:12-17)
The significance of this miracle is, not so much what Jesus did, but what happened after that miracle:
Therefore when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14)
The crowd is amazed, and Jesus must have been thinking Is this the time? Remember, Jesus knew that He was going to be the King, and the crowd is saying Let us make Him King. Certainly, He would have thought that it was the time! However, here is where, I believe, Holy Spirit steps in.
HOLY SPIRIT STEPPING IN
During His ministry, Jesus often went to the mountains or the woods to pray by Himself when He was seeking specific guidance from the Father; however, there were times that Jesus would not know what to pray. Jesus did not know what was going to come up from behind, because He did not use His omniscience. In those cases, Holy Spirit would cover Jesus’ back (step in). Do you see the picture?
Jesus always prayed before He did things. For example, He prayed before He chose the apostles—
And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named apostles. (Luke 6:12-13)
—and He prayed at night Lord God, lead Me, guide Me. However, it was Holy Spirit who would step in to cover Jesus’ back.
[I believe-] Jesus is thinking Yes, I am going to be the King, and they are crying out for Me to be the King. Okay, I will do this. However, Holy Spirit steps in—to cover Jesus’ back—and says No, do not do it!
Presented In The Gospels:
We know Holy Spirit works like that. From the book of Mark, we see that Holy Spirit was the One who compelled Jesus into the wilderness immediately after Jesus was baptized:
And immediately the Spirit compelled Him to go out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan. (Mark 1:12-13)
Jesus did not want to go into the wilderness—who would want to go to a place that was dangerous with wild animals, arid, hot, lonely, and lacking food and water? So Holy Spirit steps in and compels Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan:
And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “Since You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. (Matthew 4:2-3)
Knowing that he has the perfect opportunity to tempt Jesus because He is weak, Satan comes to Jesus and says You have not eaten for forty days and forty nights. Why not take that rock and turn it into bread since You are the Son of God? Jesus could have easily turned the rock into bread; however, He does not do it because Satan is really questioning Jesus Are You really identifying Yourself with sinners? Jesus does not do it because Satan is questioning Are You really identifying Yourself with sinners? Therefore Jesus does not turn the rock into bread [because we cannot]—He is identifying with us.
So early in Jesus’ ministry, Holy Spirit steps in and compels Jesus, who is an Adult (He is not a Child anymore), into the wilderness. [See our Matthew 4:1-11, “Tempted In His Humanity, Yet Without Sin” study.] And like always, Jesus followed Holy Spirit’s directive.
Jesus says I am the King; I am the Messiah; it must be time. And Holy Spirit says Do not do it; do not listen to them. Why do I think it is God’s Holy Spirit? John 6 says:
How did Jesus perceive? Through the power of Holy Spirit.
that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king,
Do you see that?
withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. (John 6:15)
The crowd is saying We will make You king; we want to make You king. In fact, they were going to do it by force. Jesus hears Holy Spirit telling Him Do not do it; therefore, Jesus retreats to the mountains. Jesus listened to the prompting of Holy Spirit, so He did not accept the Galileans offer for Him to be King.
Jesus understands what it is like for born again believers to make choices. [I believe-] Jesus questioned some of the choices Holy Spirit prompted Him to make; He questioned some of the decisions that God the Father told Him. However, even though Jesus might have questioned some of the choices (decisions), we know that He always did what the Father – what Holy Spirit – told Him.
[The Human Being] Jesus is in a dilemma, because He knows He is destined to be the King, and here is a group—of hot and cold Galileans—that wants to make Him King. However, He does not accept their offer because Holy Spirit says Do not do it. Jesus must have been meditating, praying, Did I do the right thing? I came to be King; My Father told Me that I would be King; and they are offering to make Me King. Why did Holy Spirit tell Me not to accept their offer? How will I know when to accept the offer to become King?
In Isaiah 49, God the Father tells Jesus the answer:
7 Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and its Holy One, To the despised One, To the One abhorred by the nation, To the Servant of rulers,
Jesus was despised and abhorred.
Look at what the Father says:
How will Jesus know when to accept the offer to become King? When the rulers—kings and princes—extend the offer to Him. There are always going to be common people willing to make Jesus the King; however, Holy Spirit says Do not take the throne unless the rulers of the nation extend the offer to You. And Jesus accepts that.
For the rest of His ministry, Jesus is looking for that opportunity. Whenever He sees the Pharisees – the scribes – the Sadducees, He is looking. Whenever He goes to a village, He is looking. Every time He goes to Jerusalem, He is looking. For what is He looking? He is looking to see if the rulers are extending the offer to make Him King. However, Jesus would have been disappointed over and over again, because these leaders always confront Him, but they do not accept Him.
Presented In The Gospels:
That explains a very intriguing verse about Jesus’ Triumphal (royal) Entry into Jerusalem on March 30, 31 A.D. [See our Daniel 9:20-25, “Daniel’s Prayer Answered—Jesus’ Triumphal Entry” study.] Jesus mounts a donkey’s colt at Bethany near the Mount of Olives, and He rides down the Kidron Valley and up into Jerusalem. Along the way, the crowds from Galilee are spreading their coats and throwing palm branches in front of Him, and those following Him are crying out:
Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!
Once again, the crowds are ready to make Him king. However, in verse 11:
Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around intently,
For what is Jesus looking? He is looking to see if any of these people accompanying Him are rulers. Were they? No, they were not, because it says:
He departed for Bethany. (Mark 11:9-11)
Why did Jesus depart for Bethany after looking around intently? Those in authority were not extending the offer to make Him the King; it was not going to happen.
IS ANYBODY ELSE GETTING THIS MESSAGE?
At least once a year during His official public ministry, Jesus goes down to Jerusalem and to the Temple (for example, at Passover). Whenever He is in the Temple area, He is looking around intently in the crowd for kings – princes – rulers – leaders to accept Him as King, but there is still no acceptance. He is always rejected in Jerusalem, so He goes back to Galilee where, generally, the common people accept Him.
After three years in ministry, Jesus is looking at this group of people and thinking After three years, is this what I have accomplished? Jesus [in His humanity] must have been wondering Is this real? Is the Voice that I hear really the Father, or am I making this up? Is what My mother and father taught Me real? Is what I am sensing to be the truth about Me from the Scriptures really true? Is anybody realizing this? The rulers and leaders do not. The people in Galilee just think I am somebody who heals them and gives them food. And after three years, I only have this rag-tag bunch of people who do not even seem to know who I am.
I wonder if words from Psalm 14—
The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand (Psalm 14:2)
—came to Jesus’ mind There is no one who understands; there is no one who knows. Jesus had to doubt.
At this point, Jesus starts calling Himself Son of Man to draw out from His disciples who they think He is.
Note: The Son of Man had become a code word for Messiah to the Jews. Son of Man was taken from a famous passage about one of Daniel’s visions—
I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
It never worked—the disciples are not very bright—so Jesus decides to confront the situation directly.
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