The Character of Jesus
Matthew 26:47-56 (Pastor Heo)
47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.
51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
55 At that time Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Last time, we saw how Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. This time, he rose to go out to the battle of life. He knew that the officers and Judas was near, so he awakened his disciples to prepare them for what was coming.
The fact that the Roman soldiers and temple guards carried weapons in a large crowd showed that Judas didn’t really understand the character of Christ. Actually, Judas didn’t really have to betray him with a kiss – Jesus came to them. It’s sad to note that Judas cheapened everything he touched.
At that time, students kissed their teachers out of respect. But, this time it was betrayal.
Even today, no one likes to name their children Judas – (actually, the name means “praise God”) – but understand that you are responsible for the meaning of your personal name.
Last time, I showed the passion of Jesus as FULL man – agony, trust, patience, prayer. Now, he’s almost at the end of his earthly life – so it’s a good time to MEMORIZE the character of Jesus Christ to understand the IDEAL Christian life.
One reason for the incarnation (Matt 11:29) was for Jesus to show an EXAMPLE to us (also 1 Pet 2:21, 1 John 2:6). If Jesus is our Savior, Lord, and King, then NO QUESTION, he must be our Example as well. What kind of man/woman must we be in this life?
Summarize: What is the character of a “true” human as characterized by Christ?
#1: Absolute holiness as a man
He was absolutely holy in his nature and in his conduct/character. He was without sin. Heb 4:15 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but he was tempted in every way just as we are, but was without sin.”
When so many people hurled insults at him, he didn’t retaliate. When he suffered, he endured. He did nothing. He bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might live for righteousness and die to sin. By his wounds, we have been cured.
We are to be holy, because he is holy.
However far we may fall away from being like Christ, we have no excuse for choosing a LOWER example than Christ – who the Scriptures hold up for us as a perfect example.
Since the Creation of the world, among human beings, ONLY Jesus was the one who was/is infallible completely and totally in his teaching and character. It is necessary to have this illustration of what God wants us to be.
- Bible says to the unsaved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and live.”
- Bible says to the saved, “Believe in Jesus Christ and follow in his steps.”
When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, his face shown (brightly) – just as we should be transformed into the same image as Christ by beholding him and following him.
We must try, do our best to be holy, because he is our example.
Even though he was the Original God, the True God, God in flesh, yet he emptied himself willingly and was made/found in the likeness of sinful men. He took on the form of a servant. He went to the place of shameful death on the cross.
- He was very rich – became poor – to make us rich.
- He was born in a manger in a stable (the animal’s food box) – who ELSE was born there? Nobody. There was no room in the inn.
- He had no place to put his head when he was teaching and preaching. He lived as a homeless person. Anyone ELSE is homeless?
- He washed the feet of his disciples as a servant – even the feet of Judas, his betrayer.
- Yes, his is our Lord, he wants to be our servant.
- He is our King, wants to be our friend.
- He is our Savior, wants to be our co-heir.
- He is our God, wants to be a man, to experience what we experience.
God gives grace to the humble, but opposes the proud.
God wants us to be humble as Christ was humble.
#3: Meek and Gentle
He himself said, “I’m gentle and humble in heart. Come to me and find rest/peace for your souls.”
Paul – to the Corinthians “by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you.” He did not smother the weak, and did not bruise the strong.
When Judas came to betray him, Jesus called him, “Friend” even though he knew what was happening. His gentleness is seen more clearly in his dealing with Judas who would betray him. He was also so gentle to those who crucified him because he prayed for them, “Father, forgive them (intercede for them) because they do not know what they are doing.”
“The workers of the Lord must not be quarrelsome.”
Jesus never quarreled, he never cried out. No one ever heard his voice on the street.
Should we cry out on the street? Did Jesus?
This is a good example we should follow.
- 1. In prayer, Jesus cried out to GOD.
- 2. On the street, he never cried out to MAN.
We should follow this good example.
- He was very serious without being gloomy.
- He was not depressed/melancholy – but he was serious and grave.
Was his life joyful or sorrowful?
Isaiah “He was despised and forsaken by men, a man of sorrows, very acquainted with grief. He bore our sorrows, carried our sorrows.”
But, in another sense, he was a man of JOY. Before the crucifixion he said, “I have told this to you so that MY joy may be in you, and YOUR joy may be complete.” In his FINAL prayer, he prayed for ALL believers for ALL time, “may they have the FULL measure of my joy in them.”
- the FULL sorrow of life and
- the FULL joy of life.
- He sorrowed totally over those who rejected his free gift of eternal life. He bore ALL griefs and sorrows.
- His joy was the joy of anticipation, the huge multitude of souls saved with him forever in his glory.
So, how should we live? (Phil 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, REJOICE!”)
(i.e. don’t rejoice outside the Lord)
1 Thes 5:16 “Be joyful always, this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
God wants us to be joyful all the time.
But the same Bible ALSO says, “blessed are you who weep, who mourn and you shall laugh… woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.”
- Yes, when we look at the Lord, we rejoice.
- When we look at the lost, we must be able to be sorrowful spiritually.
#5: Diligent worker
“Because my Father God is working, so I am working up to now.” We must work the works he’s sent us while it is day – but night is coming when no one can work.
As long as it is daytime in your life, we must work the work of him who sent us.
No matter how young you are, when night comes (soon), you cannot work any longer.
He forgot his own pain of hunger, sleep, and even on the cross in order to heal and save the souls of others. This is the kind of work we should do in this world.
“Here is Love” – no love is higher, no love is wider, no love is longer, no love is deeper, no love is truer – the love of God is unconditional, unfailing, unending, unselfish, incomparable love.
While we were still sinners (yes, before we were “good”), he DIED on the cross for us. This is the love of Christ.
Therefore, (Romans 8:38~) “Who can separate us from the love of Christ? … None, no in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.” We can be sure, confident, convinced that neither angels/demons, height/depth, NOTHING in all Creation can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
So, in conclusion, we are totally FREE.
But the important question is “from what?”
From condemnation, from judgment, from defeat (he is living in us now, we are sharing his life now), from discouragement (he is coming soon, we will share his glory), from fear (he is praying/interceding for us and we cannot be separated from his love).
- No condemnation in Jesus Christ.
- No separation from the love of Jesus Christ.
From his earthly ministry up to his crucifixion, this is our conclusion, our testimony, our song, our victory, our proclamation.
May God bless all of us in this assurance.