Christ Our Pattern (continued)
The Infinite Stoop (continued)
Jesus was in that wilderness as Man, the Representative Man, meeting that temptation and gaining the victory as every man would have to do it and could do it. As Man He lived by and according to the Word of God. His whole life was governed by "it is written." Consequently He used this invincible weapon against satan with such success that in the second temptation the devil attempted to use it for his devilish ends (Matthew 4:5, 6).
"If ... the Son of God" - use Your rights as such. Manifest Your Deity by doing a miracle for Yourself; act from Yourself in the independence of both the power and authority belonging to Deity. Again the most devilish craftiness was employed in capitalizing on Jesus' openly declared dependence upon the Father's Word. "For it is written." If you live by every word out of the mouth of God, then "cast yourself down," for will He not fulfill His Word on your behalf?" But God's second Man knew the exact Word to use. "The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17).
Matthew 4:7: "Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
Jesus was overcoming satan even as we must overcome that wicked one. Therefore He would not tempt God by acting independently.
The Father's Way was His Way
Let us reiterate that it was Jesus' way not by compulsion but by choice. At the time of His arrest, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (John 18:11).
The Father's was was the way of the cup, the pathway of suffering. But because it was the Father's way, the Son of Man chose to drink the cup which the Father gave, even to its dregs. Having taken the form of the bondslave, He emptied himself also of self-exaltation. Deity invested Him with glory which was manifested in all its splendor in the eternity of the past (John 17:5). Deity gave Him the right to be exalted as God for His own sake. But God's second Man gave up all right to this self-exaltation and all that He was and did was purely for the glory of the Father (John 17:4).
God's second Man subordinated Himself to the Father in constantly acknowledging His utter dependence upon Him, though He had said to the Jews who challenged His claim to Messiahship, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).
John 14:28; John 5:19; John 5:30; John 5:43; John 7:16.
So emptying Himself was not merely laying aside the insignia and trappings of majesty, or divesting Himself of the dignity and glory which were inherently his as God. That would not have sufficient relationship to our daily human experience to make Him a pattern to us of an Overcomer. But to see Him as Man strip Himself of all right to self-will and self-exaltation, and by His own voluntary choice live as the joyous bondslave of His Father, always doing the Father's will: always obeying the Father's Word: always going to Father's way: that is indeed a pattern for one who desires to be a victor; we too may overcome, even as He overcame.
(continued with # 69 - (The Third Step Down)