In this post we are eager to begin to consider deeply the humanness of the Son of man to discover and identify the heavenly spiritual blessings by which the man Christ Jesus walked with God, interacted with fallen humanity in all of its various groupings, defeated the devil at every turn, and finished his course ordained by the Father. The overcoming Son of humanity was not spared the vulnerable stages of natural life, the suffering of experiences both good and bad, the fickleness of fallen humanity, nor the fierceness of the devil’s hatred for him. Through all of it He passed triumphantly reigning in his life to demonstrate for us the Way of walking with God. This same victory is promised us in Romans 5:17 but will escape us if we fail to see the Son of man’s perspective of his own life.
At the core of the Son of man’s understanding was this vital foundational truth: his life was not his own! He did not live his life unto himself but grasped with great clarity and conviction that he was given life to do his Father’s will and to fulfill his Father’s good pleasure. This is what gave him significance, satisfaction, and sustainence in his personal life.
In John 4 we read of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan women at the well of Sychar which is Jacob’s well. Having been on the road for sometime, Jesus sends the disciples into the nearby town to acquire food while he remained at the well just outside of town. While the disciples are away on their mission the glorious encounter with the woman takes place. When the disciples return they urge their master master to eat and he says to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know of.” The discples, ever naturally minded, looked at each other and asked if someone had brought the master something to eat unknown to them. Jesus then says to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish His work.” It is true that the body becomes weak and needs food, but the food that strengthens the spirit-man is doing the will of our heavenly Father and accomplishing his work. Notice that Jesus refused to accredit the great spiritual work that transpired at this well to “his ministry” but rather as the Father’s work. The pronoun “my” does not bring glory to the Father but draws attention to self. Jesus would have none of it.
Hebrews 10:5-10 reads; Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book. When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. The inspired writer interprets Psalm 40:6-8 from which the passage is qouted to reveal the very heart perspective of the Messiah concerning his own life when once he was in the earth. Verse 5 clearly reveals Jesus perspective of why Father gave him life in this world. He was immovably persuaded that the all consuming purpose of his life was to do the Father’s will just as it was written of him in the word of God. There was the all encompassing work of doing the Father’s will; there was the ultimate work of his body being a pleasing sacrifice for sin; and then there were the myriad of other works foretold in the word of God that witness to his true identity as the Messiah. The all encompassing work of doing Father’s will requires that every major decision of one’s life is subject to Father’s will. It was true with Jesus, it is true with us. Where we live, what our occupation is, what our place (ministry) in the body of Christ is, whether we marry, etc. all are to be directed by the Father’s will not by our personal preferences.
I do not know when, but at some point in the spiritual development of the young Jesus, perhaps by the age of twelve, he understood by revelation of the Spirit, that he was the one of whom Psalm 40:8 prophesied. It was at this revelation the young Jesus had a choice to make about his own life: would he delight to do the Father’s will allowing the Father to expend his life any way the Father chose. You must understand-He was sinless, not guilty, and therefore not liable to punishment of any kind. He could have said no and been guiltless. Jesus declares this himself in John 10:18 speaking of his own life; No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” And again, when Jesus rebuked Peter for trying to protect Jesus from being seized in the garden, he said, “Or do you think that I am not able now to call on My Father, and He will place beside Me more than twelve legions of angels?” The obvious implication being that all Jesus had to do was ask to be delivered and the Father would have sent help.
What compelled Jesus to the cross was his Father’s love for us! The Son of man loved his Father in heaven first and foremost in obedience to the greatest commandment. He had intimate fellowship of heart, mind, and soul with his Father. Jesus perceived Father’s great desire to have a vast family of sons-the original intent for creating man. But now this family of sons would have to be redeemed from fallen humanity, which redemption could only come through the shedding of innocent blood whithout which there is no remission of sin! The young Son of man, through fellowship with his heavenly Father and revelation from Holy Spirit, fulfilled the ancient prophecy of Psalm 40:6-8 and freely gave up his life to Father’s will and business. In doing the Father’s will he found his significance, his satisfaction, his sustenance and his greatest joy. It was for the joy of bringing many sons into the same glory he had with the Father that he endured the cruelty of the cross. His was an unmatched demonstration of how a son lives in utter and complete selfless surrender to the service of Father’s will. This is the starting place of living from the heavenly realm as a son of God-total surrender to Father’s will.
In the Garden of Gethsemanee, the Son of man underwent the greatest trial of his humanity. His flesh, not sinful carnal desire, but his humanness, recoiled violently sweating great drops of blood, as the looming humiliation of his soul and physical suffering of his body cried out for self-preservation. Its intensity so pervasive Jesus asked the Father to find another way if it were possible-maybe thinking Father would do for Himself what He had done for Abraham and provide another way sparing the son in whom all the promise lay. But the prayer for another way was always followed with, “But not my will be done but yours.” There was no refusal, just a request for another way. But I think that Jesus struggled not alone. I would like to think that Father must have been struggling to not answer His only begotten son’s sincere pleading.
The vulnerable Son of humanity wrestled in prayer until heaven answered by quelling his soul’s desperate plea for deliverance, and bringing his body’s natural aversion to pain and suffering under submission to Father’s will. He rose from wrestling with self in confident grace to kiss his betrayer, heal his assailant’s ear, revile not when reviled, to suffer gross handling with the dignity of the divine nature, and to graciously petition the Father on his cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus endured this great struggle from the garden to the grave in giving his spirit, soul, and body as the sufficient sacrifice for sin that we might be sanctified in him unto the Father. O the beautiful humanity of the Son of man! What humility! What honesty! What honor! What glory!
The underlying spiritual principle Jesus evidently set forth by his example is something he walked in his entire life. He proclaims this principle in Luke 9:23-24; “if any will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever saves his life shall lose, but whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. Whoever desires to follow Christ, yet seeks to preserve or promote his own life will lose it. Conversely, the one who surrenders his own life for the sake or cause of Christ will find it. In Christianity, if I forsake my self life, I find the life of Christ as my own-a gracious exchange for much greater gain. Jesus willfully refused living for himself and ultimately found the Father’s life in that great exchange. When Phillip asked Jesus to show the disciples the Father in John 1:10 he replied, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The Words which I speak to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me, He does the works” (Literal Interpretation of the Holy Bible). Because Jesus did not live unto himself the life of the Father was living and acting in him. Jesus lived in such surrender to Father he could say to Phillip; if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. It is to be the same with us!
Listen to the testimony of the apostle concerning this wonderful spiritual reality from 2 Corinthians 4:10-11; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh (English Standard Version). We are to live a surrrendered life in such degree that when people see us they see the Son of man!. Now this is a reality we grow up into over time, nevertheless it is to be the primary aim of every regenerated son of God. Again Paul says in Galatians 2:20; I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
The spiritual blessings of the heavenly realm are not ours to aide and abet self-life. They’re essence is wholly spiritual and therefore utterly incompatible with carnal desire. They are hidden from the carnally minded but are revealed, open, and responsive to the spiritually minded sons of God who have set their affections on things above in full surrender to Father’s will. Without them we are bound in spiritual poverity, living on earth as pauper sons in a state of spiritual mendicancy thereby depicting our heavenly Father as a negligent dead-beat dad, either unable or unwilling to care for his sons. But with them, we are enriched, enabled, and equipped, with the excellent and glorious virtues of the beautiful beyond description overcoming Son of man, who is living in, working through, abiding with the redeemed sons of humanity.
Dear Father, take these truths and cause them to be our reality that we may be your sons in truth. Teach us to live here on earth from the heavenly realms. Shows our spiritual blessings and how to receive and utilize them for your glory. Thank you Lord! Amen!