The Testing of our
Wade E Taylor
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it
not robbery to be equal with God" Phil 2;5-6.
The Son of God, from eternity, had a position of equality
with God. Yet He humbled Himself, making Himself of no reputation
that He might bear our sins to the Cross.
"But made himself of no reputation, and took
upon him the form of a servant, and was made
in the likeness of men: And being found in
fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death
of the cross" Phil 2;7-8.
The fact that Jesus would become our Saviour was determined
before the foundation of the world.
"Who verily was foreordained before the
foundation of the world, but was manifest
in these last times for you" I Peter 1:20.
However, Jesus did not depend on this "judicial"
determination alone, but through a process of being tested,
He "experientially" became qualified to become our
"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience
by the things which he suffered; And being made
perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation
unto all them that obey him' Heb 5:8-9.
"For we have not an high priest which cannot
be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted (tested) like as
we are, yet without sin" Heb 4:15.
It was through suffering that Jesus experientially entered
into the position that was rightfully His. Because of His
obedience to the will of the Father, in becoming the Lamb
of God upon Calvary's cross, and dying in our stead - shedding
His blood that our sin might be cleansed - the Father has
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him,
and given Him a name which is above every
name: That at the name of Jesus every knee
should bow, of things in heaven, and things
in earth, and things under the earth; And
that every tongue should confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father" Phil 2:9-11.
His name, "Jesus," identifies Him forever with
the redeemed for whom He gave His life.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt
call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people
from their sins" Matt 1:21.
Looking forward to all that was before Him, Jesus could testify
through the Prophet Isaiah,
"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall
I not be confounded; therefore have I set my
face like a flint, and I know that I shall not
be ashamed" Isa 50:7.
Jesus had settled the issue within His being. He was both
committed and determined to pay the full price for our redemption,
and therefore was victorious in every test He faced.
A parallel to this experience can be drawn from the life
of David. In I Samuel 16:6-7, Samuel would have chosen the
one who outwardly appeared to meet every qualification. However,
the Lord revealed a different method of qualification; the
intent of the heart.
This principle is exemplified in God's rejection of Eliab,
and the selection of David for the throne of Israel. Later,
David was severely tested when Saul turned against him; but
under extreme pressure, while hiding in a cave with Saul's
army without, seeking to kill him, David chose the Lord and
His ways. His experience in this testing is recorded in Psalm
The Lord saw that David would choose Him in the difficulties
he would face, and later declared him to be "a man after
His own heart" (I Samuel 13:14).
Another example of this principle is revealed by the choice
of Jacob, a deceiver, over Esau (Romans 9:13). At first glance,
this Scripture seems to indicate that Divine approval is an
arbitrary choice: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have
However, God's choice is based upon a Divine principle. Outwardly,
it appears that Esau should have been the right choice. He
was the firstborn; and when his father requested meat, he
willingly went to get it for him (Genesis 27:1-4). Jesus said
that His meat was to do the will of the Father (John 4:34).
Nevertheless, when under the pressure of intense hunger,
Esau despised the gift of God and sold his birthright for
a bowl of stew - a present, temporal satisfaction (Genesis
25:29-33). Jesus faced this same test in the wilderness, but
refused to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger (Matthew
While Esau was seeking meat for his father, Jacob was busy
deceiving his father into imparting the blessing to him, rather
than to his brother. Yet later, when he was under intense
pressure, the true quality of Jacob's character came forth.
Jacob was returning home with all of his possessions. In
Genesis 32:6-8, he was told that everything he owned was in
jeopardy, as Esau was coming toward him with four hundred
armed men. Jacob humbled his heart before the Lord (Gen 32:9-13)
and then sent all he had over the brook toward Esau (Gen 32:23),
and remained alone.
An angel (Jesus) came and wrestled (detained) him during
this time of extreme stress (Genesis 32:24-26). Jacob could
have thrust off the angel in order to leave and protect his
possessions, but he did not. Instead, he detained the angel
until he had received a blessing from the Lord.
Because Jacob's heart was set toward the Lord, and because
under intense pressure he put the Lord first, he was changed.
"And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he
said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be
called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a
prince hast thou power with God and with men,
and hast prevailed" Gen 32:27-28.
Jacob confessed that he was a deceiver (Jacob) and as a result,
received a new name, Israel. This signified the change of
his nature, along with a position of power with God and with
man. Esau, who had sought rather to satisfy his present hunger,
We all have natural hungers within us, which at times are
intense. It is important that we displace these with spiritual
hunger. This takes place when we choose His will, rather than
that which satisfies our flesh.
God deals with us according to the "set" of our
spirit. That is, the Lord looks at that which we truly desire
to become; rather than judging us according to the present
condition in which He finds us.