📝 = Fill in the Blank
As we continue in our series THE WAY and take a look at How Jesus did things, and how Jesus arrived to His rightful place of eternal power, this morning’s message speaks volumes to that. We’re going to open up this morning with a dialogue between Pilate and Jesus and rewind back to two powerful life events in the life of Jesus that I want to show you. We’ll begin in John 18:37 where it reads,
“Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I AM A KING. FOR THIS CAUSE I WAS BORN, and FOR THIS CAUSE I HAVE COME INTO THE WORLD…
Several chapters prior to this, John 6:14 says,
After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." John 6:14
Look at verse 15 carefully.
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him KING BY FORCE, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. John 6:15
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him KING BY FORCE, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
In His Own Words, destined to be KING yet walked away from the opportunity to be KING, all because He recognized that IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE THIS. Jesus was in tune to the Father’s ways, and not His own. Jesus was in tune to the Father’s ways, and not man’s ways.
"Not like this.” Shaking his head, I can picture Jesus saying, as he secretly backed away from the crowds. "Not like this. Yes, I’m destined to be King, I was born to be King, but it’s not supposed to look like this. NOT THIS WAY.”
That’s what I want to speak to you about today…
NOT THIS WAY
This wasn’t the first time that Jesus alluded to the thought of NOT THIS WAY. The gospel of John didn’t mention it. The gospel according to Mark vaguely touched on it with just two verses, but both the gospel of Matthew & Luke unfolded it with great detail. Matthew 4:1 reads,
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”
“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ””
“Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ””
“Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.”
“And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ””
As Jesus told Satan away from me! As Jesus told Satan, It is written once. As Jesus told Satan it is Written twice, in essence Jesus was saying, NOT THIS WAY. NOT THIS WAY.
I can hear Satan now, "Are you sure Jesus? Just hear me out Jesus. Why take the long way home? Why take the long way to your place of power? Why not take the shortcut? Look, just between me and you, you don’t even have to tell anybody where you got it from. Let me just show you a few mountains of success. You see all of that there. All these things I will give You IF You will fall down and worship me.
The same way that the people tried to make Jesus King by force, is the same way that Satan tried to make Jesus prove who he was by force.
Can you imagine being in the WILDERNESS, and being offered a KINGDOM?
Yet still, Jesus said, it is written, it is written, away from me Satan—NOT THIS WAY.
📝 Not this way, because I KNOW WHO I AM.
It’s amazing to me the dichotomy to this story. Has it ever occurred to you that even though Jesus is being tempted by the devil as we are all tempted, that the temptations that Jesus dealt with, weren’t the temptations that naturally come to our minds?
When you think about fighting temptations, you usually don’t think about fighting these types of temptations. When you hear the word temptations most of our minds go to under age drinking, drunkeness, drugs, or maybe the temptation to have sex, or to indulge into pornography, to steal, but these weren’t that type of temptations. All of the temptations that I just mentioned are nothing more than temptation symptoms, but Jesus was hit with the root of all temptations…
📝 The temptation to FORFEIT BEING YOU.
A strong question is proposed in Malachi 3:8 where it says,
““Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”
Now the tithes and offerings part is for another time, another day, which is the context of the surrounding verses, but the question lives past that.
WILL A MAN OR WOMAN ROB GOD?
The answer is yes! We rob God when we deviate from His image. We rob God when we deviate from His plan, and His purpose for our lives, just like Satan was trying to get Jesus to do. Let’s look at verse 3 again…
“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.””
IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD…
📝 My identity isn’t found in my PERFORMANCE.
"My identity isn’t found in my PERFORMANCE, and neither should yours.” -Jesus
If your identity is defined by what you do, then who will you be if you’re no longer able to do it?
There has to be more to it. Satan tried to get Jesus to perform, put on a show, impress me, command these stones to become bread. Performing is tiresome.
It’s not real love when you receive it from people because of what you do, instead of them loving you for who you are.
As we see in the life of Jesus, this is something that we must combat against for a lifetime—performer. Luke 4:13 says,
“Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an OPPORTUNE TIME.”
Guess when that opportune time was—WHEN JESUS WAS ON THE CROSS.
“Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!””
“In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ””
No NOT THIS WAY. My identity isn’t found in my PERFORMANCE for man.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. John 6:38
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down…
I know you want to be seen. I know you want to be known. Come up here. Check this out. You’ll be the talk of the city. You’ll be the talk of the country. Yet again, Jesus said, I will be, but NOT THIS WAY.
📝 My identity isn’t found in PLATFORMS.
I don’t have to lift myself up. All of creation will.
“Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.””
“But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.””
And as all creation lifts me up, the promise in John 12:32 is,
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32
“Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “ALL THESE THINGS I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan!…
NOT THIS WAY….WHY???
📝 My identity isn’t found in POSSESSIONS.
Earlier we read that when they tried to make Jesus King by force, that He withdrew, and that’s what you have to do when it comes to possessions.
Withdraw from the lies that this will make you happy. Withdraw from the lies that this will fulfill you. Withdraw from the lies that this will complete you. Withdraw from the lies that this will make people respect you.
I can see Jesus looking at Satan saying, "How can you offer me something that already belongs to me? I know who I am.” Colossians 1 beginning at verse 15 clearly tells us who He is. It reads,
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
He is the image of the invisible God. Jesus is God’s selfie. He is the image of the invisible God, and according to Genesis 1:26 so are you. Therefore…
📝 My identity is found in my POSITION IN HIM.
Jesus wasn’t performance driven. Jesus wasn’t platform driven. Jesus wasn’t possessions driven. What compelled Jesus to go on was His position in God, how God saw him. Before Jesus entered into the wilderness, before Jesus entered into the round of temptations, even though He was NATURALLY HUNGRY, SPIRITUALLY HE WAS FULL. Let me say that one more time, even though He was NATURALLY HUNGRY, SPIRITUALLY HE WAS FULL. Luke 4:1 says
“And Jesus being FULL OF THE HOLY GHOST returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”
I don’t have to perform for you or anyone else, I’M ALREADY FULL! I don’t have to perform for likes, or bigger platforms, I’M ALREADY FULL. I don’t have to bow down and worship you for POSSESSIONS, I’M ALREADY FULL. I KNOW WHO I AM. I KNOW WHO’S I AM. And I’m full off of what HE SAID to me.The last word that God spoke to his Son before entering into the temptations is found in Matthew 3:17,
"And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.””
I’m already full of my Father’s love. I’m already full of my Father’s acceptance. I’m already full of my Father’s thoughts towards me. He loved me before I performed one miracle. He loved me before I ever had the platform. He loved me before I had the the name above every name. He loves me not because of what I do BUT BECAUSE OF WHO I AM.
Jesus told Satan it is written once. Jesus told
Satan it is written twice, and it’s time for you to do the same! Oh you didn’t know? Psalm 139:16!!!!
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me WERE WRITTEN in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
I say to you today, IT IS WRITTEN that you are above and not beneath. IT IS WRITTEN that you are the head and not the tail. IT IS WRITTEN that you shall lend and not borrow. IT IS WRITTEN that those who know their God shall do great exploits.
📝 Your CONDITION doesn’t CHANGE what is WRITTEN.
📝 Your CONDITION doesn’t change what is WRITTEN, but what is WRITTEN will change your CONDITION.
I declare unto you today…
NOTHING OR NO ONE HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE WHAT GOD HAS WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
I believe the same thing that Pilate said in Jesus’s defense, is the same thing that God is saying about you today. John 19:19 says,
“And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.””
“Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’””
“Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.””
NOTHING OR NO ONE HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE WHAT GOD HAS WRITTEN ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
And that’s why Jesus withdrew. That’s why Jesus said NOT THIS WAY. This doesn’t match the script. This doesn’t match the scriptures. This doesn’t match what is written. I’m not supposed to come into my eminence this way. But what about you???
ARE YOU STICKING TO THE SCRIPT?
Are you sticking to the purpose, plan, and person of who God created you to be?
I can see Jesus right now….What do you mean….IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD. There’s no IF’S, and’s or but’s about WHO I AM. In fact, let me tell you who I am…
I am the medicine.
I’m the truest friend.
I’m the final word.
I’m everlasting father.
Prince of Peace.
Immanuel God with us.
The Government is resting on my shoulders.
If you are the Son of God….no no…I AM THE SON OF GOD.