Thanks for the good reports from yesterday...apparently CD and DVD sales of the service were way, way up, which is awesome! One thing that really seemed to strike a chord with everyone was the part about Jesus saying, "satan, get behind Me". In that point I said that, because he ultimately helps to fulfill God's purposes (see Colossians 1:16, especially in the Amplified Bible, for more on that), that we should say, when tempted or tested by him, "satan, get behind me...get behind me and PUSH...push me into my purpose and destiny!" I wanted to refer to this before you read MITN Chapter IV, because Jesus made that particular statement in the 16th Chapter of Matthew, not here in this one.
Also, Sunday before last in my sermon (entitled: "After This"), I read this same passage from the Khaboris Manuscript (in Aramaic, the language that Jesus actually spoke), and pointed out that in that translation, Jesus refers to his own conflicting thoughts as "satana" or "satan", and speaks to "it", rather than "he" (get the CD for more info). But I have paraphrased it here in MITN in the more conventional sense of satan being an actual separate entity or being, a concept with which we are more familiar, and with which we are probably more theologically comfortable. Just some food for thought. Hope you enjoy...
1. Then Jesus was purposely led by the Holy Spirit out into the solitude of the desert wilderness for an intentionally staged and personal confrontation with the devil (or the adversary) into a place where He could be tempted, tested and tried by him, one-on-one, for kingdom purposes.
2. And He went completely without food for forty days and forty nights, and at the end of His fast He realized that He was hungry.
3. And at that time the adversary came and said to Him, “If You really are who You believe and say that You are – the manifestation of God in the physical realm…His own Son – then command these stones to be made into loaves of bread.”
4. But He replied, “I will not, because it has been written, ‘Man shall not live and be sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth, in the now, from the mouth of God!’”
5. Then the adversary took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a high gable (or turret) of the temple sanctuary.
6. And he said to Him, “If You really are the Son of God as You say You are, then throw Yourself down off this tower; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
7. Jesus said to him, “Yes, but it is also written, ‘You shall not tempt, test, or try the Lord your God!’”
8. Again, the adversary took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him in panoramic view all the kingdoms of the world and the splendor and magnificence of them all.
9. And he said to Him, “All of these things I will give You if You will simply prostrate Yourself before me and sincerely worship me.”
10. Then Jesus said to him, “All right; that’s enough! I have nothing more to say to you. Your purpose here has been accomplished, and so you are dismissed – be gone! For it has been written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve’; so that is that…this episode and this conversation is over!”
11. Then the adversary departed from Him, having been dismissed so matter-of-factly, and ministering angels immediately came to Him and took care of His needs.
12. When Jesus got word that John had been arrested, He left Judea and returned to Galilee.
13. First, He went to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region and area of Zebulun and Naphtali.
14. This fulfilled what God said prophetically through the prophet Isaiah:
15. “In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where there is a great population of Gentiles,
16. the people who sat in darkness have now seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death reigned by constantly casting its shadow, a bright light has shined.”
17. From then on, Jesus began to preach, “It’s time for a complete paradigm shift! You must begin to think differently about God and about your relationship to Him – you must change your lives by changing your minds – because the kingdom of/from the heavens has come near enough to you to now manifest in your personal world!”
18. As He was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed a pair of fishermen brothers: Simon, who is also known as Peter, and Andrew his brother, throwing a dragnet into the sea-like lake.
19. And, deliberately interrupting their routine, He said to them, “Come, follow Me…let Me be your life-guide, and as you are disciplined into My world-view, your skills as fishermen will be incorporated into the larger purpose of influencing people, to the point that you will literally ‘fish’ for human beings and become ‘fishermen of humanity!’”
20. His words were so compelling, and the concept of fishing for people was so intriguing to them, that they immediately left their nets right where they were and became His disciples.
21. And going on further from there, He noticed two other brothers: James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were busy in the boat with their father, mending their nets and preparing them for use, and right then and there He called them, as well.
22. And, finding His concepts and His charisma irresistible, they left the boat and their father at once and also joined Jesus as disciples and followed Him.
23. And He went all throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching nothing but the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every weakness and infirmity among the people.
24. So His fame as a healer spread quickly throughout all Syria and, as a result, they brought Him all who were sick and those afflicted with various diseases, those who were tormented and seemed to be under the influence of demons, and epileptics and paralyzed people. And regardless of the sickness or disease, or the seriousness of the situation, or the circumstances surrounding the individual, He healed them all, without reservation!
25. So enormous crowds of hurting people began to accompany and even mob Him, coming from Galilee and Decapolis (the district of the ten cities east of the Sea of Galilee), Jerusalem and Judea, and all the way from the other side of the Jordan.