Jesus Sets The Standard For All Men
Jesus Sets The Standard For All Men
You may relate to Jesus through your tradition, your religious background, a Bible story you heard, or even by observing those who profess to be Christian. Jesus is the standard that you and I are called to live up to. Most Christian men understand that Jesus is the Son of God. This is a title That He fully embraces and owns. He is the Son of God. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. However, during His earthly ministry, we can see one title emerge as His favorite self-descriptor. It's the one that He refers to Himself most often by, and there's a reason for it, that title is:
The Son of Man
The Son of Man is actually recorded over 80 times throughout the four gospels. This is a title that identifies Jesus with His humanity. Every time He says the Son of man, or the Son of man has come and refers to Himself with that term, He is claiming 100% ownership of His humanity. God, in human form, He is 100% God and 100% man at the same time and I have found is that this is often overlooked.
We hear a lot about Jesus as the Son of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and rightfully so, that is who He is. However, in most churches and as men, we have used that to distance ourselves from Him. We say things like “we need to try harder”, or “I'll never be like Jesus”. Or we, we look at him in one way and we overlook that He actually walked into earth's atmosphere as a man in the same human flesh and blood body that you and I have, the apostle Paul says it this way. He emptied Himself, He took on the form of a servant. He was made in the likeness of man. This emptying is actually a picture of self -limitation. He chose to self-limit His power as He steps from the divine realm into earth's atmosphere.
I've been laying a foundation of God's original intent for man in the last couple of shows and blogs. As we look at God's original design, destiny and dominion for you and for me as men in the earth right now. It's important that you get that information. We talk about God's destiny, we talk about God's five commands that all men have and we talk about the responsibilities that we have inherently within our DNA to carry as men. In the last blog, I talk about this concept that since the very beginning of creation, God has been looking for a man.
It was God’s original intent that He would have a man to partner with, a man that would be vice regent over the earth. A man that would rule and reign within the garden of Eden. This is your DNA. This is your destiny. This dominion is what you and I were created for. However, the first man, Adam massively fails. When he fails, the earth goes under a curse. Everything changes at that point in time and we actually inherit that old Adamic nature. We take on the fall of Adam and it is expressed through the sinful nature of man. As I write this we are feeling the consequences and the effects of sin that are still shaking the world today because of Adam's decision when he disobeyed his creator.That is the nature we inherit as we are born into this world.
God is still looking for a man. He never gave up on that idea for His intention and His purpose for mankind, despite Adam failing, God still has this idea of family. This idea of mankind ruling and reigning with Him, living for Him and with Him in this divine partnership that we could see from the original intent in the garden of Eden. On the last show, God is Looking for a Man I highlighted three specific characters from the Old Testament to show you what they all had in common.
Jesus enters the earth as a man, self-limiting his power, walking 100% as God, but also 100% in humanity and He goes through the human experience just like you and I only, He does it without sin. We have a scripture in Hebrews that says we do not have a high priest, speaking of Jesus, who can not sympathize with our weakness, but one who has been tempted in all things. This means Jesus had the exact same temptations as you and I. He brings in this new nature, this new pattern of manhood that we are going to explore, we're going to examine, and we're going to talk about what that means for you and I. In God is looking for a man we examined three specific people from the Old Testament to underscore what they all had in common. We talked about Moses, Samson and David, and we talked about where they excelled and also this common denominator of where they all failed and could not live up to the pattern of manhood that God has destined and designed for all men, starting in the garden of Eden.
As we compare and contrast Jesus with these Old Testament men, unlike Moses Jesus exhibits leadership, as an obedient son, He never loses his temper like Moses did. Jesus is fully committed and submitted to the will of His Father. Moses lost his temper and strikes the rock and there was a big consequence for Moses, he was not permitted to enter the promised land because of his sin. Jesus doesn't act that way. Even when he's under the scrutiny, the flogging, the torture of the Roman centurions, He stands before pilot and He holds his peace. Unlike Samson who wavered and fell under the temptation of Delilah, we see Jesus is wholly and completely devoted, consecrated and separated for His Father's purpose. When He is tempted in the wilderness in a very weak and deprived state, He stands strong in the face of the accuser.
We also looked at David, David has massive moral failure in his life. But where David fails and falls, Jesus never fails. Jesus is tempted in every way, but He never gives in to sin, even though He's in His human body and submitted to human frailty like you and I.
Let’s discover two purposes for why Jesus had to come in human flesh. One was to establish heaven's pattern for manhood. God never gave up on this idea of a man ruling and reigning in partnership and with dominion. When I say, ‘man’, I am referring to the human race, God wants to partner with us, and this is the pattern for manhood. So Jesus not only establishes heaven's pattern for manhood. He is the prototype or the template of what we are called to be, the apostle Paul will call him the image of the invisible God, the firstborn. The firstborn that indicates that more are to come after Him in this pattern. This prototype is another word that is used, that we are to be modeled after Him. That He is to be the firstborn among many brethren.
In one portion of scripture in first Corinthians 15:45-49 the apostle Paul is contrasting where Adam failed and what Jesus brings in the first man:
"Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural then the spiritual, the first man is from the earth. The second man is from heaven.”
I want to highlight two things. We have the first man, Adam, and then we have the last Adam. Jesus is referred to as:
- The last Adam.
- The second man
We see the first man, Adam, and we see the second man and the last Adam, Jesus is this new prototype. He is a model for manhood and He is restoring and bringing back everything that was lost for us. Scripture states that God made Jesus, the pioneer, someone who went first, the first born to bring us into the inheritance that God has for us.
Jesus demonstrates and shows us how to be men.
Let’s throw out this religious replica of Jesus, this stoic figure or maybe you have a picture of a soft man holding a baby sheep surrounded with the children, and that’s the only way you know Him. He certainly demonstrates empathy. He is loving, He is love and He is kind. However, we have often overlooked that Jesus was a real man, that He worked a blue-collar job for the majority of His earthly life. I have learned and observed from the life of Jesus that there's so much to learn for us as men from his style, his methods, his approach, his characteristics, and Jesus actually says, come and learn of me.
In The Standard, Discovering Jesus as the Standard for Masculinity , I take a deep dive into the humanity of Jesus. I look at what He models. I look at His methods and I look specifically at how we can apply these in our life. The book is broken down into six dimensions.
Jesus sets the standard and demonstrates what it means to be a real man. Jesus leads us to true manhood and sonship through His demonstration of obedience.
When we look at the life of Jesus we see from the very outset of His earthly life that He was born into humble beginnings. He's born into a middle-class family and at the time of His birth there is a major incident that's happening in their home country that causes them to flee to Egypt. From the time of His birth He will be in the most ordinary circumstances. He could have entered the earth in any position and any title, but he chose to devote the majority of His life as a blue-collar worker.
He will be a builder, handling rough and heavy materials, working with ordinary tools and going through all those mundane activities and all of the natural and normal circumstances of life that you and I also experience on the daily. This is one of the purposes that Jesus came to earth to demonstrate. He is the model for manhood. He is the template. He is the prototype for perfected manhood, walking in relationship with the Father as the perfect Son.
In John Chapter three we read about about Nicodemus, who was a well-known teacher. He approaches Jesus by night and asks, “what must I do to be saved?” Jesus tells him, you must be born again to see the Kingdom. So we can see here that Jesus is referencing His Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. He is from another realm and you must be born again to even see this Kingdom that Jesus speaks of. Jesus came to bring in the Kingdom, He will proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom everywhere He goes, which is what He calls the good news. The good news is you no longer have to be a slave to sin. You no longer have to be out of alignment, suffering under the curse of that old fallen sinful nature that we inherited from Adam.
I want to give you an invitation right now. If you don't know Jesus, if you are not truly living in alignment with who you're called and created to be, today is the day for you to pledge your allegiance to Jesus and His Kingdom. And I want to tell you something, it's not about saying a simple prayer and going on with your life.
It's not about just saying this little declaration and then never changing your ways or aligning your actions.
Jesus said a servant is not above his master. He talked about the way of the cross in His life. He modeled suffering in obedience. Yes. He leads us to a life of dominion. He leads us to a life of breakthrough over sin and over the curse that has been put upon us and that we inherited from Adam.
The Work Of The Cross
He also demonstrates that the way we get there is by taking up our cross. The first thing He did was He paid a price that you and I could not pay, this is known as the work of the cross. When He got on that cross and said it is finished, He paid a ransom that you and I cannot earn no matter how many good works we do. We'll never measure up to the standard that Jesus sets. There's only one way to heaven. There's only one way to enter this Kingdom and that is through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for you.
Jesus went to the cross because He was obedient to His Fathers will and consumed with a love for us. This is not a pristine picture of Jesus walking around the earth as a frail human that didn't have any courage and that did not step up with intention and with purpose. The picture of Jesus I want you to cement in your mind right now is a courageous Savior. A man who lays down His life for you and for me. I want you to see Him in the garden, sweating drops of blood. See Him as He submits His will and says, not my will Father, but yours be done. I want you to see Him as He's getting a Roman flogging by rough centurions, who've made it their life's mission to hurt and inflict pain and punishment on anyone who violates their law. See Jesus there as He's getting beaten with whips and rods embedded with bone and glass, as they literally tear the flesh off of his body.
The whole time this is happening He's thinking about the love He has for His Father. He's thinking about obedience and this suffering is bringing Him to this ultimate pinnacle of the work He will do when He pays that price that only He can pay on the cross. As He carries that cross, He has a single eye fixture, He is locked in on the will of His Father for His life, despite the pain, despite the shame, despite the agony and everything that He's under in this frail human frame. He keeps his eye on that vision of perfect sonship, perfect manhood, being formed and shaped by obedience to the Father. He gets on that cross and when He declares "IT IS FINISHED", He now purchased a way for you and me to enter the Kingdom of heaven, that my friends is known as the work of the cross. You can't earn it, you can't buy it, you can't work for it. You can only accept it as a free gift. It's what Jesus gives to all men who ask for it.
The Way of The Cross
There's also another side of this coin. It's called the way of the cross. The way of the cross is the way of a disciple, a disciplined learner. Someone who takes up their cross and dedicates their life. When Jesus says, follow me, you become a follower. You became a learner and you learn his ways as He leads us in the path that He has for us. If you do not know Jesus or you're reading this today, and you're out of alignment with the will of God for your life, I want to call you back right now.
I want to give you this invitation and this opportunity to align your purpose, your will, and your intention with following the one who was crucified, resurrected, and leads us to life.
Jesus said: I AM the Way the Truth and the Life.
I don't want to paint a rosy picture for you that you're going to say a simple prayer and everything's going to be amazing and you are now going to live a life of breakthrough at every corner and every circumstance and part of your existence, that's just not what Jesus promises. Yes, we have dominion over sin and yes, He calls us to live an ascended life and let me tell you, there's nothing like partnering with God and fulfilling the will and the vision and the purpose that He has for us as men as we follow Him.
This is what you must do, believe with your heart. When I say heart and when the scripture says 'heart' the meaning is with all of your being, it's believing and setting your intention with a focused purpose that you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins. You believe and you understand the price that He paid.
We also confess with our mouth, there's something in the kingdom realm that requires our words. We have to bring a confession. We have to say with intention, what we are declaring, what we are turning from and who we are turning to.
You have to repent, you have to repent from that sinful nature and from all the sins in your life you have to turn away from. Repenting is more than just saying a prayer and just repeating some words. It is a heart posture to know that you have violated God's law and that you need to bring yourself in right standing and right alignment with the Father's will for you.
Change Your Allegiance
When I reference being a kingdom man its about being submitted to God's kingdom and devoted and disciplined in our following of Him, we're talking about a change of allegiance. We're talking about our former allegiance was to our flesh, it was to the lusts of our flesh, the desires, the sinful nature, and the world systems and everything the world has to offer us. When Jesus calls men, the good news is that we no longer have to be a slave to sin, He calls us to change our allegiance, and this is exemplified by taking action and putting down, carnality putting down this emphasis that we always want to live for ourselves.
That is what it takes to accept the Lord, to live for him and to walk with him. There is a destiny over your life when you take this action, when you're translated from one kingdom to another kingdom. If you want to turn your life around. If you're ready to submit, if you're ready to follow Jesus and if you're ready to partner with him with where He wants to take you, it's very simple, but it will require everything from you.
Follow through with your actions and make Him the Savior and the Lord of your life. If you know that you need to change allegiance today and that you are being called and you feel Jesus speaking to you right now, you can feel that conviction of the Holy Spirit showing you that you're missing the mark and that it's time to change. It's time to come and lay it down, all those burdens, the guilt, the shame, and the sin, I am going to lead you in a prayer that encompasses those four components of believing confessing, repenting, and pledging your allegiance. So if that's you, I want you to pray the words below:
Father, I come before you today, a sinner. Lord, I've missed the mark. I have sin in my life and it's separating me from you. I'm sorry for my sin, I repent for my sin. I no longer want to live under this burden. I no longer want to try and do it my own way. I no longer want to live under the grind and the hustle of trying just to make everything happen for myself apart from you and apart from your will Lord, take all the sin, take all the shame. I ask you to come into my life. Jesus, forgive me of all of my sin. I make you the Lord of my life. I declare right now my allegiance to Jesus Christ as my Lord and my Savior. I call out for your mercy and I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit. Make me a new man in Jesus mighty name. Amen.