Accompanying Robert Rayburn sermon: Followers of Jesus
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Jesus' Strategy for Effective Ministry
Accompanying David Legge sermons (looks like he went all MacArthur on us): The Servant's Test Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, The Servant's Task Begins, and The Call to Follow and Fish
Notice how the testing of Jesus came immediately after the spiritual high of baptism. Isn't that how things often work out for us, too? We see in this passage that temptation is arranged by God in order to strengthen us while also instigated by Satan to try to get us to fail. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, but this temptation was arranged by God to strengthen Him. This was an agonizing experience for Jesus - He was tempted as man, but was the only man to ever perfectly resist and overcome temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit - the very same power that is at work in us. We too, can resist temptation through the Spirit's power.
Legge summarizes it this way:
the Lord Jesus Christ's baptism was His expression of His willingness to do the Father's will. Satan's temptation was not motivated to get Christ to commit immorality, as much as to deter Him from choosing God's perfect will. The Father's will, the Father's way was one of suffering, was one of trial, was of temptation and loneliness - it was the hard path of obedience. It's always the temptation of the servant of the Lord to choose the easy way out, to avoid the Calvary Road, but He chose it - and He chose it for you, and He chose it for me. Here's the question: will you choose that road for Him? Will I?
And all of this was to prepare Christ to do the work and will of His Father - to preach a message of repentance, to preach Christ and Him crucified, to preach faith. Just like we need to do today. People need to understand godly sorrow, a hatred of our own sin that leads us to turn away from our sin and towards Christ in faith.
But Jesus didn't only preach to the multitude, He also discipled individuals.
As Christians, we need to be disciples - followers of Jesus, committed to knowing Him deeply and becoming more like Him every day. But we also need to be fishers of men, discipling those around us.
We see, in the disciples, a picture of what it means to be a Christian. We need to be absolutely convinced of the supremacy of Christ, so much so that we will enter into a relationship with Him and because of that relationship, we will take up His cause as our own.
Have we left our nets to follow Jesus?
Here is how MacArthur summarized this passage:
Here's the model for ministry...sanctified heart, overcoming sin and temptation, commitment to the singularity of the glorious message of the gospel that has come to us from God through the pages of Scripture concerning Christ, and selectivity of successors, choosing carefully who you surround yourself with so that you can multiply and extend your ministry on and on. That's how our Lord did it. At the same time, demonstrated His power over Satan, sin, and His power even to sovereignly call and transform sinners. He is the King and the King has given us a strategy for following Him.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Mark 1:21-28