Like Paul, I count all things, rubbish, compared to knowing Jesus. I am stirred to study his life, his love & his death; his words, his motives, everything about him. I am, after all, being confirmed to his image and my desire is to be like him. Therefore, I comb his Word, where all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are and where I behold the face of Jesus.
The most astounding thing about Jesus, to me, was his relationship with his Father while he walked the earth.
Everything he trusted in, loved and all that exuded from him was a consequence of his deep love and reverence for his Father. Everything he did, said and didn’t do, flowed out of his joyful deference to his Father. He prized his Father’s thoughts, ways and word above all else! And in doing so, he transformed the culture he lived in. Of course, his coming was not to transform a culture but to redeem the world and in so doing, transform mankind, thus transforming the culture. We see Jesus healing, delivering and setting people free but he did not revel in those things. He didn’t rave about his power over the devil either.
Luke 10:19 -20
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” NKJV [Emphasis mine]
As a matter of fact, he told those he healed not to tell anyone. He always wanted the Father to be known to people.
Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. NKJV
He always spoke of the Father and pointed people to Him.
Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. NKJV
Just look at the relationship! Oh what beauty! What holy passion for not only the person of his Father but for all the things that concerned Him. All that was important to the Father was important to Jesus. If the Father loved it, Jesus loved it. If the Father hated it, Jesus did. The heartbeat of his Father was his heartbeat. You might say, “Well yeah, Jesus is a third of the Godhead and the Godhead is One”, but he also walked as a man who gave us insight to the workings of the Godhead and the thoughts and intents of the Father for all men and for His people- the Church.
We are far from this model, in my opinion, and I ,myself, am included. Daily I am confronted with how short I fall from this ideal! My attention is not fully Jesus at all times nor always leaning into the Father’s Heart. My heart wants MY OWN opinion and to glory in MY OWN wisdom and ideas, but to conform fully and wholly to the Father’s ways and mind, I have not obtained. But, oh my want is to! This desire in me speaks day and night to draw close to the Father’s heart and speak it, revere it and put it on display as Jesus did! To pass every thought and decision of my own through the prizing of my Father in all areas of life, is my aim.
To do that, I must know Him, see Him through the light of scripture and communion with Him. Not just His words but the intent and feelings of His heart and value these above everything else. It is one thing to esteem the Father because He is God, but to genuinely care about His thoughts and what He values is a whole other matter that requires laying down every desire of self to live in His desire. Jesus loved what God loved and hated what He hated.
However, we can’t discern that love and hate according to man’s way or tradition but pressing into scripture to learn His heart is our only way of understanding rightly. We know from studying the gospels, the many times the Pharisees did not line up with the heart of God even though they were convinced they knew God and even set themselves above others in this knowledge. They took a great deal of pride in belonging to Moses and the Law, but they had no idea about the Spirit of the law. They only knew the letter and the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:6
…..who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. NKJV
They had knowledge without love.
1 Corinthians 8:1
……. We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. NKJV [Emphasis mine]
The highest law IS love and this law, Jesus came to fulfill. Jesus not only knew and reverenced the law and fulfilled every letter of it, he was intimately acquainted with the heart and motives behind the law because of his complete unity with his Father. God’s desire in the Old Testament was not just that Israel would walk in His commands but that they would know Him and His heart and love Him. He didn’t want robots full of obedience on the outside with rebellion on the inside. He wanted children who would love Him for who He was and out of that love, walk in His ways.
David is a beautiful example of this. Although he committed great sins and fell short, his heart was always craving the Father; to know Him and to walk in His ways; Psalm 119. [Although there’s no name as to who wrote Psalm 119, scholars believe that based on the language of the psalm, it is King David.] I agree. As I read the Psalm, David’s heart is evident as in other psalms he wrote. The point being: his love for his Father, God was the forefront and the motivation behind all he did and all he accomplished. David is thought to be a foreshadow of the Messiah.
In both of them, Jesus and David, we see the deep desire to know the Father, love what He loved and hate what He hated. Again, we see the great esteem for His heart, His ways and His commandments in the earth.
The commands, in and of themselves, are not necessarily the point I want to make here; but the commands representing the ways and desires of God’s heart is the essence of the matter! Because God, Himself, said “Thou shalt not”, this makes the command treasured. God’s word is a treasure because His word is his thoughts, His desires, the way He sees things and feels about things. Because they are HIS, they are treasured! And I want to treasure them too, not just in knowing about them but in the Spirit of the Word to live them and prize Him above all.