Jesus—Human and God in Every Way
December 23, 2021
-Dr. J. Vernon McGee, from the Luke Bible Companion
Your family tree may explain a lot about you—where you came from, who your grandfather was, and his father before him. Luke’s Gospel traces Jesus’ family through Mary’s story, back to King David, then back all the way to Adam, the first created son of God. But Adam fell from that lofty position when he sinned. Jesus Christ, the last Adam and the Son of God, came to bring mankind back into that relationship with God by believing on Him—the only way to be in fellowship with God.
After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested by Satan. We can only stand on the fringe of this temptation; we can’t fully understand the unseen, hidden forces of evil that spun around Him. As man, Jesus needed to be filled with the Spirit in order to meet the temptation. How much more do we need the Spirit’s power to face every kind of temptation?
This test was God’s idea. To tempt means two things. When Satan tempts us, he tries “to seduce us to do evil” in some area he can take hold of, some area we might possibly yield to him. Jesus wasn’t tempted to do evil—that would be a losing proposition. Nothing in Him would yield to do evil.
But to tempt also means “to prove or test.” God tested Jesus to prove He is a sinless Savior, able to save us. Because He passed the test, Jesus can save anyone who comes to God through Him (see Hebrews 7:25-26). There is a Man in glory today who sits at God’s right hand, who understands you and is able to sympathize with everything you face. Isn’t it wonderful to have a Savior like that!
Leaving the wilderness, Jesus returns home to Nazareth. On the Sabbath, Jesus is handed the Word, and He reads it according to the schedule (the same for all synagogues). That day’s passage was Isaiah 61:1-2, describing the coming Messiah. Jesus closed the scroll, looked at that crowd, and said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (4:21).
The people looked at Him confused, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, a carpenter? How could He be the Messiah?” Jesus tried to show them, but they wouldn’t accept anything He said. His claim enraged them. Their rejection turned violent and they drove Jesus to a cliff on the edge of town, planning to push Him off to His death. Jesus miraculously disappeared into the crowd and went on His way.
Because Nazareth rejected Jesus as Messiah, Jesus moves to Capernaum, a town on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. The people were amazed at His powerful teaching—they never heard the Pharisees and scribes speak with such confidence and authority. They were drawn to Jesus’ light—but with this attraction comes a responsibility to respond in faith.
Further showing Jesus as fully human, we get to follow Him one day from dawn to sunset. In the synagogue, we listen to Him teach. We watch Him throw a demon out of a man. At lunch, we see Him heal Peter’s mother-in-law from a serious illness. Then He goes outside to the crowd and, moving from one to another, He talks and connects with people. He healed in a wonderful way, with great compassion, touching people in their greatest need. He is a Savior in every way.
We learned from Dr. McGee when he taught about Jesus’ wilderness experience (Luke 4) that to tempt can mean two different things. Jesus gives us a model for each.
- To tempt to sin. Satan tried to seduce Jesus to do evil. As a man, Jesus needed to be filled with the Spirit to meet that temptation. What a great example for us in how to face the things that might cause us to sin.
In your Bible, look up Ephesians 4:27 and James 4:7 (and underline if you like). What’s a practical way you can apply these two verses?
- To tempt also means “to prove or test.” God tested Jesus to prove He is a sinless Savior, able to save us. Because He passed the test, Jesus can save anyone who comes to God through Him. Look up Hebrews 7:25-26 and James 1:12-14. Ask God to help you “pass the tests” that He administers in your life—and to grow in spiritual maturity that He intends for you.