Jesus – The Imprint of the Father
Hebrews 1:1–3 (NKJV)
1God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
3who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
In the past, God spoke through prophets to the fathers of the people of Israel, but now in these last times from the birth of Jesus onward, He has spoken to us through His Son. Matthew 5:17 tells us that Jesus fulfilled the Law and the prophets (that is, all the prophecies of the Old Testament), and Luke 16:16 tells us that the Law and the prophets continued until John.
Matthew 5:17 (NKJV)
17“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
Luke 16:16 (NKJV)
16“The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
So, we will have to re-evaluate the so-called references to the end times that we find in the books of the prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel because they cannot be referring to the end times since they were all fulfilled in Jesus. The prophets spoke to the people of Israel about Jesus and His first coming, not about the end times and the second coming of Jesus.
Jesus is the last revelation, and the Law, the prophets, and all the Old Testament must be interpreted through the lens of Jesus because He is the imprint of the Father’s person. The Law and all the apparent severity of God in the Old Testament must be seen within the nature of the person of Jesus. Jesus fulfilled all the Law and yet His message was one of “extravagant” love and restoration. For example, when He was confronted by the Pharisees with the woman caught in adultery, according to the Law she had to be stoned to death, but Jesus, because of His love, found a way to save her from death without breaking the Law. Then Adam and Eve could have been left to die eternally after eating from the forbidden tree because that’s just what God said would happen. But God, because of His infinite love, found a way (although it was a very costly way) to save mankind from eternal death without breaking His own Word. Moreover, the fact that little children were drawn to Jesus and loved to be in His presence speaks volumes about the kind of person Jesus was, Who represented the very nature of the Father Himself. Children intuitively sense when a person is full of love towards them.
When did Jesus usually get angry or upset during His life? Only when He came in contact with the Pharisees and Sadducees, those who preached a God harsh with sin, those who always preached sin and sanctification. This does not mean that Jesus downplayed the seriousness of sin and the need for sanctification, but He simply prioritized love for the person and their restoration instead of punishment.
When we want to discuss something more delicate with a person (especially correction), don’t we prefer to talk face to face rather than in writing? Why? Because we want that person to feel from our voice the attitude with which we say those words, the emotions emanating, etc. In writing, the person can interpret what I said according to their state of mind at the time and through analogies with other, usually negative, experiences they had in the past. In writing, the person reading may have all sorts of unfounded suspicions, doubts, or preconceptions. In the same way, God first sent the Law in writing to His chosen people. Through it, the people of Israel developed in their minds and hearts an image of God as a harsh and strict God in relation to humankind. But then God sent His Son, Jesus, to correct the distorted view people had of God because of the Law of Moses. But most people have never corrected it or find it very difficult to do so.
Usually, we as humans are quick to forget the good things that happen to us and which God has done and is doing for us. When the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they used to quickly forget all that God had done for them when they were dealing with God’s discipline. We also tend to focus on God’s curses in Deuteronomy chapter 28 for example, but we don’t see God’s blessing in the same chapter. We get fixated on God’s so-called harshness and lose sight of His goodness and love. Have you ever thought that maybe God had no right to step in and remove the curses? From the way He loves people that He gave absolutely everything for them, I believe that if He could, He would have never included any curse on man. He was not the One who cursed, but automatically if the people did not choose life, they came out from under His protection.
The natural human tendency is always towards Law, harshness, and asceticism because of man’s need to do something to be righteous. There is an almost irresistible attraction to self-righteousness.
Many Christians seem to fear too much grace. They feel that if they give people too much grace, they will live in sin even more. But it is exactly the opposite. Most Christians don’t realize how hard it really is to live in super-grace, or hyper-grace, if I may say so. You just need to seriously try to see if and how long you can maintain a mental attitude in which you always see yourself loved by God and as being His favorite even when you sin? You won’t be able to because of the conscience that God has put in us to warn us when we are wrong, but which no longer tells us that our sins have already been erased.
A sin repeated for years will not soften your conscience until you feel nothing. If by any chance your conscience no longer feels anything, the devil will take care to fill the void and continue with accusations and condemnation because you are a child of God. We feel good when we are legalistic as if we are taking God’s side, and we think that He will perhaps be more merciful to us and our weaknesses if we preach sin and repentance loudly to others.
Do you agree with me that Jesus had good and correct teaching doctrines? What do we do then if those doctrines of Jesus do not match the doctrines being preached today by people who are actually pastors or have been to seminary and are even born again? Jesus did not have Bible schools and degrees, which does not mean that schools are not good; in fact they are recommended. Schools have their important place. But who do we take into account?
John 14:6–10 (NKJV)
6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
Many of us have the impression that Jesus is softer, closer to us humans, more loving and empathetic than the Father, whom we usually see as harsher and detached. And yet Jesus tells us that He is exactly the Father, and in John 16:27 Jesus says that the Father Himself loves us:
John 16:27 (NKJV)
27for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
In verse 10 of the passage above (John 14:6-10), let’s notice how Jesus calls the words He speaks the works of the Father. He equates His words with His deeds.
Jesus’ doctrine was completely aligned with the Father’s doctrine, and our doctrine must align with Their doctrine, right?
Matthew 7:7–12 (NKJV)
7“Ask, and (something might be given to you because God, in His sovereign knowledge, knows better whom to give or not?) it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Do you agree with me that there is a major difference between the way Jesus preached and the way it is generally preached in our modern day? When I talk about preaching and learning I don’t just think of pastors and people in the front lines. Let’s think a little about ourselves when we talk to people and they tell us different events in their lives and ask us for an opinion or advice, what do we tell them? Do we tell them what Jesus said or something else?
Jesus was speaking here to thousands of people. It’s about the sermon on the mount. And He had the “audacity” to say such things as those in the passage above: “Ask and it shall be given to you. ” Without any disclaimers. As soon as we hear these things, the following thought will come to our mind: “Yes, but I prayed some prayers and they were not answered and I know someone who also…” Can our experience weigh more than the doctrine that Jesus taught us? Is Jesus mistaken and did He not realize that there will be so many people who will ask so many things that will not be answered? Was Jesus so immersed in the Father that He forgot about the real life here on earth? When it comes to the doctrine of Jesus, we have generally watered it down so much to please everyone. In verse 11, Jesus tells people and us that the Father will give good things to those who ask Him. Then if we look at verse 12, why does Jesus tell us to do unto men as we would have them do unto us? Because this is exactly what the Father does with us. He does for us what He would like us to do for Him.
Matthew 21:21–22 (NKJV)
21So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.
22And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
What words does Jesus use? Anything? Whatever? All things? Are these conditional words or limiting words? “Anything” or “all things” are very general expressions. We can put anything in there. How was Jesus not afraid to say such things? Can you imagine walking into a church and the pastor saying, “Let me tell you what’s going to happen tonight. You have come to the right program. Whatever you ask of God tonight, you will receive.” Why didn’t Jesus give disclaimers or conditions? Did He ever say: “Now wait a minute, don’t think that you can just ask for anything. Let me tell you exactly the conditions under which what I said works.”?
For example, when we see an ad with a super good deal for us, don’t we immediately expect that somewhere at the bottom of the ad there will be written in very small print the conditions necessary to qualify for that offer? And most of the time, we don’t qualify. Because of this, we have become accustomed to transferring the same kind of thinking to our relationship with God: “Yes, God gives us good things and He says that He will give us whatever we ask, but it is not really so because we clearly see that it doesn’t happen. He must have certain conditions of holiness, of prayer and fasting, etc.” But Jesus was not like that.
Jesus did not preach this kind of sermon where we consider the possibility of failure, because for Him there was none. He always preached that the Father will always answer.
Mark 11:22–24 (NKJV)
22So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.
23For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
24Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (you might have them??)
Jesus did not teach people the way they are taught in churches today.
John 14:12–14 (NKJV)
12“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
When God doesn’t answer, it doesn’t mean that He has another, greater purpose that gives Him the right to cancel what He said in His Word: “Whatever you ask.” Otherwise, He would not have allow Jesus promise such great things. We must also take into account the fact that Jesus did not come to preach to people who had everything in order and whose prayers were all answered. These were people under Roman occupation, who paid taxes to the Romans, were oppressed, and yet Jesus says to them: “Whatever you ask.”
John 16:23–24 (NKJV)
23“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
24Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
This is not what we hear usually. And because we hear differently, we think differently. And because we think differently, we receive differently or we don’t receive at all. Jesus never justified Himself, never tried to explain more to make everyone feel good. He did not give disclaimers. He is the Head of the church and the Holy Spirit is the supreme Teacher, but neither of them “jumps” from the throne to protect us from heresies. It’s amazing how relaxed they can be in the midst of so many different Christian denominations and doctrinal ideas. They are in no hurry to correct the wrongdoers and bring them to the right path. Because the Holy Spirit slowly corrects those He needs to correct, but He doesn’t panic or start criticizing those who preach wrongly to “protect” the flock.
Jesus was with the suffering people and He had to think about what to teach and how to speak.
John 8:26–32 (NKJV)
26I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”
27They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
28Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
29And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
30As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.
31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, (what word? In morality? No, but in His type of doctrine) you are My disciples indeed.
32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Do you see what Jesus is saying? He says that He also had much to say and to judge from Him, but He refrained. He spoke only what he heard from the Father. Jesus did not speak all that came to Him to say or judge. Do you realize how much discipline we need to not try to comfort everyone, make them feel good, but just say what God says? Jesus refused to add more words and explain and provide justifications.
In Verse 27, we see that they did not understand. Isn’t this common today? Didn’t He realize with His insight in the Spirit that they didn’t understand? And yet He gives no further explanation. Then in Verse 28, we see another interesting thing that Jesus needed to be taught by the Father. He was not omniscient on earth because He left that ability behind.
John 7:16–18 (NKJV)
16Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.
17If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.
18He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him.
Jesus’ teaching was not based on His 30 years of life experience. At 30 years old, He was just a young man. But because of the movies, we get the impression that He was a very mature and elderly man. Yes, He also saw the experiences of men, but He received a doctrine from the Father that was not based on the experiences of men. The person who speaks something else than Jesus is seeking his own glory and his own reputation. “What will I look like if I talk big and loud and nothing happens? Will anyone else come to church? Maybe they will ridicule me at work.” But what is most important is to preach what Jesus preached even if sometimes our reputation is at stake. God’s word will not fall to the ground.
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