Home > Miscellaneous > Jesus’ Movement to Overcome Satan (Part 1)

Jesus’ Movement to Overcome Satan (Part 1)

Jesus’ life on earth was a full out war against the forces of evil in the heavenly realms and the perversion done to the world by the Father of lies and the ultimate instigator of sin (Gen 3). There’s so much I could put into this post because there is so much that Jesus did that we have recorded (and more that isn’t on paper Jhn 21:25) that is an obvious intrusion on and destruction of the work of Satan and much more that Jesus did implicitly to undo the distortion of Creation. Obviously if I were to cover all that we’d all be bored, so I’ll try to hone it down. I’ll probably split it up so I can post more often and each portion is not overwhelmingly long. Let’s begin in the beginning…

“was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (Jhn 1:1-2). Remind you of anything? It does for most. But, what about this? “‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him'” (Jhn 1:32). Maybe our other gospels have something similar… “At that moment heaven was opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him” (Mttw 3:16).”As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mk. 1:10). “Jesus was baptized too, and as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove” (Lk 3:21-22). What does this remind you of (other than a white birdie)? This isn’t a passage we immediately connect back to another part of the Biblical story, but I submit to you that the recognition of this helps us to interpret properly what is happening in the Jesus narrative.

We are again meant to be reminded of another part of the story of YHWH’s creation of humanity. John highlights this by bringing our thoughts back to the Creation story in Genesis as his first order of business in his gospel. He event tells us about the darkness that characterized the world into which Jesus came. The other writers anticipate that we’ll get it soon enough if we don’t yet. Let’s move on into what they say and see if you do. Mark mentions offhandedly that Jesus “was in the desert forty days being tempted by Satan” (Mk 1:12). Presumably Mark expected his audience to already have some knowledge of this event in Jesus’ life. Both Matthew and Luke have extended stories about Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the desert. In all three gospels the story immediately proceeds the descent of the Spirit on Jesus. What are some other really important temptation stories in the Scriptures? Think of one in particular? If Jesus’ temptation is meant to remind us of another important story of the tempting of Satan, what is the baptism story supposed to make us recollect? Are you seeing yet?

I’ll be forthcoming now, but I hope your imagination has led you somewhere close to where I’m going. Genesis 1:1 -2 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Spirit was residing in the heavens over the waters, over the formless earth, over the darkness. And he made light and he made the universe and he made humankind caretaker of his Creation (1:28-29) and he walked on the earth with him (3:8). And then humans were tempted by the deceptive serpent, and they sinned against the God who gave them life and love and glory. And it changed the course of history, the direction of humanity, the way the entire world worked. The sin of the First Man messed up everything. Satan’s enticement messed up the whole of creation. But now, in the baptism story, we have the Spirit, the very same Spirit that was in heaven over the waters and created everything good, tearing the heavens open, coming down in bodily form, and descending on Jesus, remaining on Him. The Creator is back. He’s not happy about the state of humanity. He’s full of the same love and power that created the good and beautiful. And He’s here to make things right again. He’s here to Redeem His Creation.

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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