What Jesus Had to Believe About Himself

Jesus told us that he is the way, the truth, and the life. Do you realize that Jesus had to believe this about himself also?

Wrapped in the human flesh, Jesus still had to trust his way was right.

With the limitations of flesh and blood, Jesus faced the temptation that maybe just maybe he was on the wrong path. Satan saw this as Jesus wrestled with his calling in the desert and presented to Jesus three potential paths that countered the one he was sent to fulfill.

First, Satan tempted Jesus to forgo any limitations that might be present on Earth and just take care of his needs completely by himself. Hungry? Turn these rocks into bread. Satan was essentially saying that Jesus didn’t need to trust his father to provide for his earthly needs, he, Jesus, could just provide it himself and forgo the whole trust thing.

Secondly, Satan tempted Jesus by trying to convince him that what mattered was showing off and drawing attention to yourself, that this was a sign of success and the only way to advance your goals.

Christ in the Wilderness by Stanley Spencer

Third, Satan tempted Jesus by offering the path of power and prestige and splendor. That he didn’t need to rummage around with all of these back woods and ignorant people, that he could skip small moments with small people and just go straight to the king part and the glory part.

Jesus had to face these temptations because these are the biggest temptations that we all face. We all are given short cuts that pushes God to the sidelines and stunts our growth in him. We all are lured by the sensational and the impressive that has no depth behind it and loses its power because it doesn’t touch the heart of things. We all are tempted to think that strength only comes from power and possessions and domination of others.

Jesus, after overcoming these temptations and establishing his own way, the Jesus way, tells his followers that the only way to save our life is to lose it.  Dallas Willard says, “To take him as our master means that we trust his way is right and, as he himself did, always look to the larger good under God. Like him we keep on entrusting ourselves to the One who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:23). This is “losing our life and thereby saving it” in the manner Jesus taught.”

Did you catch what Willard said twice in that statement? Twice he makes the point that Jesus had to trust his father, that we we are not taking on a path he himself wasn’t already choosing. That Jesus, in the wilderness under temptation, chose trust in his Father over everything else. We can do the same.

If you find yourself taking short cuts in your spiritual life then you are not following the Jesus Way. If you are constantly seeking the grand and the splashy and ignoring the mundane and the ordinary then you are not choosing the path that Jesus chose. If you are concerned with only who has control and how much forceful influence you have then you are embracing an approach that Jesus rejected.

To live this Grown Up life, we must keep trusting the One that Jesus trusted. Nothing else will bring us truth and the life that we genuinely desire.