The Confrontation of Jesus Christ – Part 2
When we were last in the gospel of Mark, we began part one of a two-part series on the Confrontation of Jesus Christ. This is what is commonly known as the Temptation of Jesus Christ. A more accurate description is the testing of Jesus Christ. The Greek word is “pierasmos” which has behind it the sense of a trial with the outcome of a beneficial purpose of effect.
This temptation — or testing — was different in that He did not have to contend with a fallen nature as we do. In both cases — with Adam and with Jesus — satan had to show up in person. There was no internal struggle of the flesh, no outward struggle with the world. Their nature was sinless. This did not make the temptation any less real or intense. Adam fell so in a like manner, Jesus could have fallen. He makes this is clear when speaking in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:13).
However, we are looking at this in a very different manner. It was not just His testing but more markedly a confrontation with the enemy of our souls. Jesus is not on the defensive in this case. He’s on the offensive. He goes to the place where satan is — the wilderness.
If you remember, we took a close look at the word “immediately” because it is such an influential word in the gospel of Mark. He uses it over 40 times. I had mentioned the two different words that were used translated from the original Greek and delineated how we should read this gospel when this word shows up. Now, for many people, going through the details of breaking down a word in Scripture is tedious and uninteresting. But I gave a reason why we needed to go that deep. It was because details matter in the word of God.
There’s an old saying that the devil is in the details. Actually, he’s in the omission of the details. God is in the details. It is because of the imprecise and sloppy handling of the word of God that we have so many people confused as well as far too many preachers teaching error. They’re not going and doing the work and that work is detailed and precise. The word of God is so important in its preciseness that the Lord Jesus began talking about parts of letters in Scripture that should not be touched.
In light of this, it is incumbent upon those of us who would stand in a pulpit or teach anybody about anything concerning the word of God to be accurate. We have a responsibility that when we utter the truth that it is indeed the truth. Contrary to popular belief, there are only two interpretations of the Bible — the right and the wrong one. Therefore, we should bear down on the Scriptures and be fully invested when we are grasping with the truth of God. His work involved here which is the sense behind 2 Timothy 2:15.
The Greek word used for study means to make effort, be prompt, or earnest. To do or give diligence which is a better translation. To labor. The reason why is because it is important that we do the work to get the right interpretation. The verse implies that there is a wrong way to divide the word of truth. This is important because once again God is in the details.
We saw that in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit was the person who drove the Lord Jesus into the wilderness. It wasn’t a casual stroll through desolate places. This is Jesus compelled. He had no other thing on His mind after hearing from the Father. Nothing else mattered to Him at this point. It was game on. He was a Man possessed.
Like our Lord, we should be driven by the Holy Spirit through the word of God. The Holy Spirit was our Lord’s motivation. The word motivate means to stimulate towards action or to act as the one who causes something. The Holy Spirit, when He is the one who motivates our actions will guide us into all truth as the word of God says. He many times will guide us to places that we never expected. After the Lord’s baptism, it probably wasn’t expected that he was about to go rounds face-to-face with the devil. This is from the human perspective. But it is exactly what happened.
We found out that a sign that someone is being led by the Holy Spirit and motivated by Him is that they are battling against sin within themselves. They are choosing to follow God’s word over the world, the flesh, and the devil. This then becomes impossible to do if you do not know how to wield your weapon which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17-18).
This is the reason why so many Christians today do not live in power and in the strength of life. The word of God is not a lamp unto their feet and a light unto the path but they’re groping around in the dark when they don’t have to. There are soldiers on the battlefield fumbling around with their swords, dropping their shield, and trying to fasten on their armor in the middle of a battle. They have not prepared themselves and are unskilled with the very thing they need in order to be victorious.
This morning we’re going to finish this section on the confrontation of the Lord Jesus Christ by looking at some other details and how we can learn from this in our lives today.
Join us Sunday at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612 at 11:00 a.m. as we teach independence in dependence on God.by