“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
We have a pretty good understanding of half of Jesus. Here in the United States, we understand His humanity fairly well.
The human Jesus
When Jesus says things like feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit those in prison, we can wrap our minds around that. A fair number of us do some of those things.
Jesus said, love your neighbor as yourself. Do to others as you would have them do to you. We quote these every so often (more so to get others to do to us, rather than us loving them, actually).
We compare ourselves with the Jesus who walked the Earth. He became one of us. We love the warm fuzzy Christmas story when Jesus was born.
Do we ever let Jesus grow up? We prefer Him as a baby, where we can hold Him in our hands, and tell Him what to do.
The other half of Jesus, however …
The divine Jesus
If you read the Bible at all – Old Testament as well as New Testament – you’ll discover rather quickly that Jesus also is divine. Jesus is God Himself.
This part of Jesus we have a hard time understanding.
I’ll give you just one proof of Jesus’ divinity. There are many others, I’m sure.
Before Jesus met the general public, He spent 40 days in the wilderness. This was an intense period with His Father, fasting and praying, learning and receiving the tools He would need to connect humans on Earth with God in heaven.
At the end of this period, Satan came to Jesus and tempted Him to sin three times. The third temptation went like this:
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him’.”
I used to picture Jesus getting angry with Satan here, sending him to time-out like an unruly child.
I don’t think that’s the way it happened, though.
I think Jesus was laughing at Satan. Really.
Jesus the Creator
To put the temptation in perspective, listen to this 12-minute video from Louie Giglio, a pastor in Atlanta, Ga., who compared the earth, the sun and several stars to the size of a golf ball.
Jesus created those stars. The Bible makes that clear.
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in OUR image, according to OUR likeness …”
Genesis 1:26, emphasis added
God is one God, but He is plural. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Three parts, one God. This is the divine side of Jesus. He is our Creator.
The apostle John understood this.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and WITHOUT HIM NOT ONE THING CAME INTO BEING … And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory … full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-3, 14, emphasis added
Jesus, then, while born as a human baby on Earth, also was around before time began. He created all things.
Fully human, fully God.
Jesus created not only everything on Earth, He created our sun. He created our solar system. The Milky Way. Our galaxy. All the stars. All the galaxies, trillions of light years away and beyond.
God blows our minds
As Giglio describes very well, the vastness of God is beyond our comprehension.
If the Earth was a golf ball, he said in the video, the sun would be 15 feet in diameter. You could fit 960,000 golf balls inside the sun.
After describing several other stars, Giglio brought up Canis Majoris, the largest known star. If the Earth was a golf ball, he said, this star is the height of Mount Everest – almost six miles high. You could fit enough golf balls inside that star to cover the state of Texas – 22 inches deep.
Wrap your mind around that.
Watch the video. It’s awesome.
The tiny little powerless devil
Now, picture Jesus on top of a very high mountain with Satan, where Satan is offering “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” if only Jesus would worship him. That’s impressive, right?
Not to Jesus.
All Satan could offer Jesus was a golf ball – and even that only because Jesus gave it to him.
This is how much power God has.
Satan is barely a speck in the circle of life compared to the vastness of the universe that the living God made.
That’s why Jesus flicked Satan away like a fly on the wall. “Get away from me. You got nothing.”
I can picture Jesus saying that.
Jesus knows us intimately
And yet, this Jesus, who created the golf-ball-size Earth as well as the sun, stars, galaxies and all the vast universe, wants to have a relationship with you and I. We are just specks on that golf ball, and yet He cares about us.
If you let Giglio’s video run, he’ll take you to another part of the same talk, where he explains how small and detailed God is – down to the tiniest atom in our bodies, and parts of atoms that God (Jesus) also created.
The God of vastness, the God of minute detail – this is who we worship.
What better time to discover this than Passion Week? That’s Christian jargon for the week Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
Jesus didn’t have to do that. He flicked Satan away, yet He didn’t kill him. He let Satan rule the golf ball. Then gave us humans a way out.
Satan still rules Earth, but only because God lets him. Satan’s time is short, and he knows it.
Attend church this weekend. Discover for yourself who the true God is.
Not the god of Earth. All he can offer you is a golf ball.
Worship the God of heaven. He offers you life.