Jesus, the God-ManJohn 1:1–14, Luke 22:39
The Bible teaches that Jesus is fully human and fully divine. How is this possible? It’s a mystery that even the early church struggled to understand. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg examines the theological findings of the early church councils.
From the Sermon
God Is for Us
When we come to faith in Jesus Christ and the bonds of sin are broken, a number of things become true of us immediately. We are transferred from death to life and indwelt by God’s Spirit. We’re placed within His family. We are redeemed, changed, and born again. Sin no longer reigns in our lives.
It does, however, remain.
In trusting Christ, we are not living a life of ease whereby we are exempt from attacks from the Evil One or the subtle tendencies of our own hearts. Instead, from the point of conversion through to the point of seeing Christ and being made like Him, the Christian is involved in “a continual and irreconcilable war” against temptation.
Scripture is full of warnings about temptation: that enticement to sin and evil that we all experience. Temptation is not simply the lure of things which are wild and unthinkable, but the impulse to take good things which God has given us and use (or misuse) them in a way that sins against God. In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis alludes to this subtlety of sin when Screwtape urges his apprentice devil to “encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy [namely, God] has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden.”
Scripture is clear that God is never and cannot be the source of temptation. When James says that “God … tempts no one,” he has built his statement on God’s character. God is incapable of tempting others to evil because He Himself is insusceptible to it. Tempting others to evil would require a delight in evil which God does not possess.
The word translated “tempt” can also be rendered “test.” So what our fallen nature might turn into a temptation to sin is also a test that can strengthen our faith. When we face a time of testing, which God allows, we should remember that His purpose is not our failure but our benefit. The devil longs for us to fail, but God longs for us to succeed. He is for us, and He is working all things, even trials and temptations, for our good.
So what temptations are you regularly doing battle with (or giving in to)? Learn to see those as temptations but also as opportunities—as moments to choose obedience, to please your Father, to grow to be more like Christ—to gain a victory in your ongoing war. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Called to Be Holy
13Therefore, preparing your minds for action,1 and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
I Am Yours and You Are Mine
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!”
What does this sweet prayer teach me? It shall be my evening’s petition; but first let it grant me an instructive meditation.
The text informs me first of all that David had his doubts; for why should he pray, “Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation’” if he were not sometimes exercised with doubts and fears? Let me, then, be encouraged that I am not the only saint who has to face such faltering faith. If David doubted, I need not conclude that I am not a Christian because I have doubts.
The text reminds me that David was not content while he had doubts and fears, but he proceeded directly to the mercy-seat to pray for assurance, for he valued it as much as gold. I too must work to foster a continual sense of being accepted in the Beloved and must have no joy when His love is not shed abroad in my soul. When my Bridegroom is gone, my soul must long for Him.
I learn also that David knew where to obtain full assurance. He went to his God in prayer, crying, “Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’” I need to be often alone with God if I am to enjoy a clear sense of Jesus’ love. When my prayers cease, my eye of faith will grow dim. Much in prayer, much in heaven; slow in prayer, slow in progress.
I notice that David would not be satisfied unless his assurance had a divine source. “Say to my soul . . .” Lord, speak to me! Nothing less than a divine testimony in the soul will ever content the true Christian.
Moreover, David could not rest unless his assurance had a vivid personality about it. “Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’” Lord, if You said this to all the saints, it means little unless You should say it to me. Lord, I have sinned; I do not deserve Your smile; I scarcely dare to ask for it. But oh, say to my soul, even to my soul, “I am your salvation.” Let me have a present, personal, infallible, indisputable sense that I am Yours and that You are mine.
Bread from Heaven
1They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
4Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”
9Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11And the Lord said to Moses, 12“I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
13In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?”1 For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer,2 according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat. 19And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
22On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” 24So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”
27On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30So the people rested on the seventh day.
31Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36(An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)3
Jesus and Zacchaeus
1He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. 5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” 6So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. 7And when they saw it, they all grumbled, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” 8And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
The Parable of the Ten Minas
11As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. 12He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. 13Calling ten of his servants,1 he gave them ten minas,2 and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ 14But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ 15When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. 16The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ 17And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant!3 Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ 18And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ 19And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 20Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; 21for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ 25And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ 26‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 27But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”
The Triumphal Entry
28And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
41And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
45And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”
47And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.
Elihu Asserts God's Justice
1Then Elihu answered and said:
2“Hear my words, you wise men,
and give ear to me, you who know;
3for the ear tests words
as the palate tastes food.
4Let us choose what is right;
let us know among ourselves what is good.
5For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
and God has taken away my right;
6in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
7What man is like Job,
who drinks up scoffing like water,
8who travels in company with evildoers
and walks with wicked men?
9For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
that he should take delight in God.’
10“Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13Who gave him charge over the earth,
and who laid on him1 the whole world?
14If he should set his heart to it
and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15all flesh would perish together,
and man would return to dust.
16“If you have understanding, hear this;
listen to what I say.
17Shall one who hates justice govern?
Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19who shows no partiality to princes,
nor regards the rich more than the poor,
for they are all the work of his hands?
20In a moment they die;
at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
21“For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
and he sees all his steps.
22There is no gloom or deep darkness
where evildoers may hide themselves.
23For God2 has no need to consider a man further,
that he should go before God in judgment.
24He shatters the mighty without investigation
and sets others in their place.
25Thus, knowing their works,
he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26He strikes them for their wickedness
in a place for all to see,
27because they turned aside from following him
and had no regard for any of his ways,
28so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29When he is quiet, who can condemn?
When he hides his face, who can behold him,
whether it be a nation or a man?—
30that a godless man should not reign,
that he should not ensnare the people.
31“For has anyone said to God,
‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32teach me what I do not see;
if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33Will he then make repayment to suit you,
because you reject it?
For you must choose, and not I;
therefore declare what you know.3
34Men of understanding will say to me,
and the wise man who hears me will say:
35‘Job speaks without knowledge;
his words are without insight.’
36Would that Job were tried to the end,
because he answers like wicked men.
37For he adds rebellion to his sin;
he claps his hands among us
and multiplies his words against God.”
The Light of the Gospel
1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,1 we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice2 cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants3 for Jesus' sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Treasure in Jars of Clay
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11For 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. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self4 is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
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