Episode 14: With All His Power, Jesus Still Came to Serve

Episode 14 September 23, 2020 00:08:40
Episode 14: With All His Power, Jesus Still Came to Serve
Thinking Christian
Episode 14: With All His Power, Jesus Still Came to Serve

Sep 23 2020 | 00:08:40

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Show Notes

At the time of his temptation in Luke 4:1-13, Jesus showed character like no one else's. He had the power — Satan was right about this! — he had the power to turn the stone into bread. He was hungry enough, too. Yet here, as throughout the Gospels, Jesus refused to use his power to serve himself. He never used his extraordinary power for his own benefit. He came, as it says in Mark 10:45, to serve. This is Jesus' incomparable uniqueness.

Based on material in my book Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality.

Many who’ve read this book have had their lives lit up for Christ, so I encourage you to see what God does for you through it!

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:08 Welcome to the Christian podcast, your weekly guide to solid Christian thinking on culture science, faith, and Christian confidence hosted by Tom Gilson. Hello, I'm Tom Nelson. We'd been running a series Speaker 1 00:00:25 Thinking Christian podcasts. This is the first one I'm doing on YouTube to go along with the other channels on which we've been playing for a while. Speaker 0 00:00:33 The series has been Speaker 1 00:00:34 Study in the book of Luke on Jesus, whom in my book, too. Good to be false. I explain has characteristics that you just wouldn't expect from other great leaders, other religious founders. And it's a study in what Jesus didn't do in many ways. It's, it's not your everyday Bible study. In other words, I'm not looking as much at what he did as what he didn't do the proves to be unexpected. When you asked the question that way now up until now, previous episodes in this series have been preliminaries about the coming of Jesus, his and up through his childhood about which we know enough to be interesting, but still relatively little here today. We're launching into the book of Luke and jesus' own adult ministry. I'm going to read from Luke chapter four. It's a very interesting passage. In fact, it gets to the heart in some ways of my whole message into good to be false of what Jesus didn't do. Speaker 1 00:01:36 Jesus. It says, look for verse one. And Jesus full of the Holy spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the spirit in the wilderness for 40 days being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, if you are the son of God, command this stone to become bread and Jesus answered him. It is written, man shall not live by bread alone. Now there's two other episodes in this temptation. One where Satan takes them to a high mountain to show him all the kingdoms of the world. And just says, all you have to do is worship me. And of course, Jesus says no to that, that wholeness God is to be worshiped. And then the other test, which was that he could make a spectacle of themselves by tossing himself from the pinnacle of the temple. Speaker 1 00:02:26 Really both of the, the second two temptations were shortcuts to the mission that Jesus had come to accomplish, which was to make himself declare himself, set himself up and people's hearts to be King so that we would be prepared for the day when he returns to earth and establishes his full kingship among us. But it's the first temptation that has some really unexpected features to it. They all do, but, but this one really ties into the whole too good to be message. And here's what it is. Jesus had the power, Jesus had power, like no other character in any other literature or fiction. That's I take in this book, I take the story of Jesus seriously, as a story and a compared to other stories, stories of, of, uh, not just literature and fiction, but actually stories, including history, but characters, men, women, who, who had something to offer the world, or at least they claim they did. Speaker 1 00:03:30 And, and looking at how they went about making their way in the world. What you find is that every person who has great power uses it one way or another for their own good, they use it for their own benefit. I find it hard to imagine, not using, not doing that. I can imagine, uh, not really, but suppose someone won the Powerball and gave me all the winnings from it. You know, maybe it was a billion dollars, big Powerball payout, and that would be some economic power for me. Right. And I suppose I was the best person in the world. And I resolved to give it all to missions, all, to sharing the gospel, all, to feeding the poor, all to ending sex trafficking, all the good things I could think of. I think I would probably still take my wife out to a nice dinner. Speaker 1 00:04:21 I would take the family on a nice vacation, probably with just a tiny percentage of that billion. Just, just something nice for myself and for them. Here's what Jesus didn't do. And this is why too good to be false in many ways, as a study of what Jesus didn't do, Jesus didn't use his extraordinary powers for his own. Dennis said, now this is remarkable. This is unequal. This is unparalleled. This is incomparable. This is Jesus standing alone among all the stories, all the great leaders, all the great religious founders, even the gods, even the, even the Marvel heroes, no one is like him in this. He was hungry. My goodness, 40 days without food, he was hungry. And when Satan said you could turn the stone into bread. Yeah. Satan was right about that. This is just the beginning of a career of three years of Jesus in ministry, in which he gives the same answer. Speaker 1 00:05:26 Every time he doesn't use his extraordinary powers for his own benefit. Who does he use them for? Why does w w w what's it all about? Well, first of all, he's the creator. We have that in, in the first chapter of John, certainly in the gospel accounts, he's got the power to change the weather. He's got the power to turn water into wine. He's got the power to heal. He's got the power to rescue. He had the power to rescue himself on the cross. But as it says in Mark 10 verse 45, the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give us life as a ransom for many Bonhoeffer called him, the man for others, Jesus was well, really, quite unimaginably better than the rest of us. Because when I think of having that kind of power, even a pittance of that power, just some money, I can't imagine using it only for the good of others as Jesus consistently and always did. Speaker 1 00:06:29 Now, how do I explain the next part of this? This, this is the last thing I want to say about it, but, but, but this is, this is, um, I'm stuck. Give me a moment. This is too awesome. This is too inspiring for me. And this is worship in full King. That's why I'm stuck. The reason I can't imagine being that good is because I'm not that good. I've never met anyone that could, I've never met anyone close to that. Good Lord Acton said, power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts. Absolutely. Abraham Lincoln said nearly every man can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. Every person is subject to failure. And the more power they have, the more subject they are to that Jesus had not just immense power, but infinite power. He didn't fail. He was the ultimate success to a degree that I cannot imagine being that good. I can only fall before him in worship and say, you are the greatest. You are the one you live. The one perfect human life. The doctrine says that you are God, I believe the doctrine, but it's when I see this infinite goodness carried out in his life through things like refusing to turn stones into bread for his own good it's. When I see that, that I fall on my face before him and worship, and I say his incomparable character reveals his reality for the thinking Christian podcast. I'm Tom Hilson. Thanks for joining us. Speaker 0 00:08:23 The thinking Christian podcast is copyright by Thomas Gilson for more information, visit the thinking Christian [email protected].

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