Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

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The Wisdom of Jesus

Jesus never reacted, but always responded

Jesus never reacted, but always responded

Published on: Nov 17, 2009

As I have continued to meditate on the need for us to have root in ourselves, I am naturally drawn to the example given to us by Jesus. Jesus, more than anyone, had root in Himself. He knew who He was. While addressing the Pharisees who were trying to find fault with Him, He said to them:

John 8:43-46
43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.
44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!
46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? (NIV)

He knew He was sinless. He knew He was the Son of God by the time of His Bar Mitzvah as demonstrated in Luke chapter 2. It would be a mistake to think the devil never tried to assault his identity before the wilderness trial. The accusation of being a bastard began in infancy.

But, more than that, wisdom requires humility. Humility is an honest assessment of truth. The humble are teachable. Pride is a defense mechanism that hinders truth because it is too busy defending its error. Truth needs no defense. Because he is the Truth He was able to empty Himself. These verses are often misunderstood regarding Jesus:

Phil 2:5-7
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (NIV)

This is not saying that Jesus was not equal with God, nor was it possible to be equal with God. He is God! What we are being told is that because He is equal to God, it was not an issue with Him. Because He is equal to God, He could ignore that and focus on serving mankind. Because of what Christ has done for us, we too, can ignore that gift and focus on serving others. In other words, those who know who they are in Christ, have root in themselves, do not need to defend themselves for they know they abide in the Truth. Those who are uncertain of themselves lean on pride and are defensive. Humility is matter of fact. Humility is outward focused, not inward.

Are we without sin like Jesus? Yes and no. Yes in that as far as our relationship with God is concerned, we have no sin. For God looks upon Jesus within us. That means the doctrine of our being separated from God by sin is a lie. It is true for all who have not accepted the gift of life in Christ, but not for those who walk in His covenant relationship. However, as Paul says of Adam and those before the Mosaic law (Rom. 5) sin was not imputed to them, nevertheless death reigned. In other words, even though in our relationship with Christ sin does not interfere with it, sin still has consequences and those consequences are never removed by the blood of Jesus.

So much of what I read in forum discussions on Christ is pride based. So many are defending their point of view. It is one thing to state the truth, it is another to argue for your point of view. The truth never needs defending because it is Truth. Truth always stands for it is reality.

Because Jesus is the Truth, He never had to defend Himself. He spoke the truth, and addressed the truth in men’s hearts, but He was never trapped in arguments. It is well worth our time to consider those dialogs of Jesus with those who were adversarial to Him. Jesus was never mastered by the dialog but was always master of the dialog. Because He was rooted in Himself. He was able to look without with no need to look within.

The conversations that Jesus had with the Pharisees have a note worthy progression. At first the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of breaking the traditions of the Jews and the Lord’s response is one of showing them their errors. But as they grew in their envy and hatred of Jesus they tried to entrap Him. It is in these dialogs we see the logic and wisdom of Jesus in wonderful display. Their first accusation appears in their slander of Him.

Matt 12:23-24
23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. (KJV)

At this point it is only slander, not entrapment. Because Jesus has root in Himself, He did not react and defend Himself. We would deny the accusation. Instead of denial He shows them the folly of their logic.

Matt 12:25-26
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? (KJV)

His first point shows the folly in their thinking. But next He carries their logic to its natural conclusion.

Matt 12:27
27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. (KJV)

Or in other words, He turns the table around to them. If they are right, then they are just as guilty of casting out devils by Beelzebub, too. Knowing that they see the logic of his response, Jesus returns to the heart of the matter.

Matt 12:28-30
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. (KJV)

Now they have to admit that He is working by the power of God, and if they are not working with Him, they are working against Him. It is noteworthy that God does not accuse. That is the work of Satan. Jesus did not accuse any of the Pharisees of working for Satan. Rather, He let them see it for themselves. In fact, He follows up with a message of forgiveness.

Matt 12:31-32
31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. (KJV)

They are accusing Him of being an agent of Satan, yet He tells them that they shall be forgiven that. But to call the power that cast out demons – the Holy Spirit – demonic is unforgivable. Not because God does not want to forgive, but because to do so is to harden one’s heart to the point where one can not tell the difference between good and evil.

Matt 12:33
33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (KJV)

Jesus now begins to breach the hardness of their hearts. And, in Matthew, this is the first time He begins calling a spade a spade.

Matt 12:34-37
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (KJV)

It is a mistake to think that God is nitpicking in judgment. The concern of God in judgment is the evidence of the heart. By the idle words of our mouths He will show us the true state of our hearts. In other words, we may have a multitude of rationalizations and justifications, but those little idle words will reveal the truth.

It is noteworthy that Jesus does not try to “win” the argument. He does not need them to admit that they are wrong. Probably because He knew that they wouldn’t do so. But He knows that Truth works by itself and does not need further buttressing. He does not need to “win” because He is the Truth, and already has “won”.

As Paul exhorted the Philippians, let this mind be in us. We do not need to say that we are right. We are right because we abide in Christ. We do not need to “win” for we already have won. But we do need to speak the truth. Doctrine that one has been taught is not truth until one has seen the truth of the doctrine for one’s self. Those who endlessly argue doctrine are doing so because they have not seen the truth of the doctrine for themselves yet. Consequently they don’t know which doctrine to believe and are easy prey for seducing spirits that bring in doctrines of demons. But those who have root in themselves will test and try the doctrines to see if they are true or not. True doctrine will stand the test, and has stood the test of time. Doctrine in of itself is not wrong, what is wrong are doctrines that don’t bear witness in the Spirit. If we speak by the Spirit we do not need to “win” the argument. Truth and the Spirit work together. Wisdom is born in those who have root in themselves.

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