Did Jesus know?
Did Jesus know?
Early yesterday morning I was sitting in my “prayer chair” in our kitchen, reading a few passages from my Bible as a prelude to meditation and prayer, both of which I try to do every day. Ten minutes in, and I was still trying to get focused enough to do either of them. It seems that my mind was taking me down a different path; one that I really didn’t want to follow, because it was all negative…
A couple of months ago Joshua Canizaro, one of the Pastors at the Church of The Highlands here in Birmingham cautioned me that as our walk with God becomes stronger, and as we do more to serve Him, we get this invisible “target” on our backs. This target, of course, serves as an invitation to receive “…all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:15
Well, I’m gonna tell you, the last couple of weeks I’ve felt as if that target on my back had somehow morphed into a full body suit! We had some personnel issues and changes in our salon. We had recently agreed with our landlord to expand the salon at a time when, well, let’s just say that the timing could have been better. I had to have a discussion with a member of our family that I didn’t want to have. I had a couple of friends that were going through some trying times. I had…
What I’m trying to say is that life was dealing me a whole lot of crap all at the same time! You know what I’m talking, don’t you? Surely you’ve had those kinds of weeks before; it’s one thing, after another, after another! Perhaps you’re going through one of those periods right now. Just know that you’re not alone! The world didn’t single you out as its only victim.
You should also know this…
When life is dealing you fits is when Satan is working his hardest! When our attention is on our situation at work, or on our finances, or raising our children, or on a spat that we may have had with our spouse, Satan comes in to plant the seeds of doubt, anger, hatred, or any other negative and evil thoughts that are his trademarks!
And you should also know that God is gonna give you everything that you need to overcome every obstacle that life, and Satan deals you, if you will only ask Him for help.
And all those situations that I was facing the last couple of weeks? I prayed my way through them! “God give me strength. God give me patience. God give me wisdom, and understanding, and knowledge. God get me through this.”
Guess what? He got me through all of it…every trial, every tribulation, every doubt…all of it. That’s the good part. The bad part was that I had to go through it at all!
And that’s what I was thinking about yesterday morning…not just what we have to go through, but Satan’s role in it…his relentless attacks on us, not only when we’re working for God, but when we’re at our weakest.
Did HE know?
I started turning a couple of questions over and over in my mind. They were questions that I’d never considered before, and I had certainly had no idea as to the answers. When my wife Jackie joined me in the kitchen I posed the questions to her…
Do you think that, as a child, Jesus knew that he was the Messiah, the Son of God? I mean, did he know that he was the Word Incarnate? Was he born knowing this, or did it come to him as he got older?
Well, Jackie wasn’t really sure of the answers either. Sensing that I might pose this question to you today, she cautioned me that doing so may result in receiving more answers than I was prepared to handle! Besides, what difference did it really make if he knew or not?
By that time I was like a bloodhound on the scent of a criminal’s trail! Like Sherlock Holmes seeking a clue! Like Indiana Jones looking for the Ark of the Covenant! Did he know?
When I got to church, I posed my questions to Pastors Canizaro and Cory Hardesty. Both felt that Jesus knew early on that he had a calling to the Lord. As far as knowing, it is recorded in Luke that Jesus was twelve years old when he became separated from his parents for three days as they were returning from the Feast of the Passover. After frantically searching for him, they found him in the temple courts…
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49
Pryor to that time in history, God had never been referred to as Father. For Jesus to refer to God as his Father, he had to have known that he was indeed the Son!
You may be wondering why it was so important for me to know if Jesus knew?
Buckle up and hang on; this may get a little deep, because the answer to that question leads to more questions, for which I have no concrete answers.
If he knew, was he more prepared to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one?
We know that Satan tempted Jesus when was he was in the desert for forty days, and Jesus rebuked him. How about all the years that we don’t know about? I’m talking about the years when he was an adolescent…in his late teens…his early twenties. What do know we about those all-important formative years?
Jesus was God made flesh. He was not half man and half God, but fully God and fully man. And as a man, he experienced the same things that we do; i.e., trials, tribulations, anger, hurt, and ultimately, death.
Did being the Son of God isolate, or insulate, Jesus from the ways of the world?
Did Jesus have to contend with problems in his world relative to the problems that we deal with today? Financial stress? Moral corruption? Crumbling family values? Health care?
Knowing that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, did Satan attack or tempt Jesus even more than he would you or me? Or did he only go so far in his temptations, knowing that God could crush him like a bug?
Do you think that Jesus ever just got tired of it all?
Before you get even more upset with me for asking some of these questions, let me tell you what I think…
I believe that, in addition to saving us from the sin of Adam and Eve, Jesus was sent here so that he might experience everything that we experience. Yeah, he was the Word made Flesh, but he was also a man. And as a man, he felt everything that we feel.
When we go through a rough day, or week, or month, we do so with the anticipation, with the hope, that life will get better. As Christians, as followers, we believe that God will take care of us, that He will lift us up, that He will ease our burdens and heal our hurts.
Yeah, I believe that Jesus knew…I believe that he knew that his ultimate reward for being one of “us” for thirty-three years was a death marked by betrayal, humiliation, and unimaginable suffering. Yet he did it anyway. And I have to believe that he spent a lot less time grumbling walking his path than I do as I walk mine.
It has been said that the mark of a good leader is one who leads by example. That being said, perhaps Jesus was more than our Savior…perhaps he was the greatest leader that we have ever known. You see, in his birth, in his life, and in his death, he leads us to God.