5

The one overcoming, I will give to him to sit with me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.

A couple seem dismissive of this with,

just as I was victorious NIV, NLT

Even though we are to be 'overcomers' the word used for Jesus is exclusive to this passage. ἐνίκησα enikēsa

What does it mean and what did he overcome?

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  • Death, sin, and temptation.
    – Lucian
    Aug 13 at 22:06
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The verb νικάω (nikaó - the source of the sports brand!) occurs 28 times in the NT - most in the book of Revelation and 1 John. It simply means, " I conquer, am victorious, overcome, prevail, subdue." (Strong's)

It appears that because Jesus overcome the world, so must we:

  • John 16:33 - I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
  • Rom 3:4 - By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”
  • Rom 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
  • 1 John 2:13, 14 ... I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. ... I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
  • 1 John 4:4 - You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
  • 1 John 5:3-5 - For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome, because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

The book of Revelation also contains a similar message - we overcome because Jesus, the Lam, overcame and we must imitate Him. Here is a sample from Revelation:

  • Rev 3:21 - To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
  • Rev 5:5 - Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
  • Rev 12:11 - They [the righteous brothers] have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.
  • Rev 15:2 - And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, beside which stood those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name. They were holding harps from God,
  • Rev 17:14 - They will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will triumph over them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and He will be accompanied by His called and chosen and faithful ones.”
  • Rev 21:7 - The one who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son.

Thus, "overcoming" in John's writing is a technical term for overcoming the world, ie, prevailing against sin by the blood of the Lamb. We prevail because Jesus prevailed against the love of the world. Note the verse immediately following the above reference to overcoming in 1 John 2 -

1 John 2:14-17 - I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Note the parallel nature of John's instruction - we overcome the world (and its desires) by doing the will of God, exactly as John says that Jesus overcame the world by doing the will of the Father.

  • John 5:30 - I can do nothing by Myself; I judge only as I hear. And My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
  • John 6:39, 40 - And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For it is My Father’s will that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
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After the last supper, John recorded the words of Jesus in (Berean Literal Bible) John 16:

33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”

After the cross, John recalled the same phrase twice in 1 John 5:

4 because everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith.

This phrase must have been memorable in John's mind. This word "overcome" (G3528) appears 6 times in 1 John and 17 times in Revelation.

Revelation 2:

1a To the messenger of the church in Ephesus write:

7The one having an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one overcoming, I will give to him to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

8And to the messenger of the church in Smyrna write:

11 The one having an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one overcoming, I will give to him to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

14To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. 21To the one who overcomes, I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

Revelation 3:

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

The overcoming message was really for all the churches.

21 The one overcoming, I will give to him to sit with me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.

What does it mean and what did he overcome?

Jesus overcame the world, along with it, temptations, sufferings, crucifixion, death, Satan, and hell. By faith, we can do the same and have peace even while we are in the world.

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  • I was just beginning my answer when I realized that you took the words right out from under me. :-) +1.
    – Xeno
    Aug 13 at 19:57
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This was a genuine question in that I wanted to explore this feature of Jesus' life more deeply. However, it has also become a focal point of contention.

In response to, "Jesus was tempted, but God cannot be tempted. How then, do we reconcile James 1:13 and Heb. 4:15?" the following was offered.

Therefore, He could not be tempted in the sense of any possibility for sinning.

When Jesus was in the form of God, he had no flesh.

He was beyond temptation.

Even when Jesus was 100% a man He remained 100% God.

All of which basically eliminate Jesus overcoming anything! Apart from the mystical 'two-natured' theory (an unbiblical construct), Jesus is presented as beyond temptation, immune from temptation and being therefore unable to sin. If he could not sin, temptation is completely pointless and rendered a charade.

None of these statements have biblical testimony for support. No verses were offered - there are not any! There are then merely a philosophical approach rejected by scripture.

What does scripture offer to counter these ideas?

As mentioned prominently in the other two answers here;

But take courage; I (Jesus) have overcome the world! John 16:33

Well did he or didn't he? Scripture says he did. Jesus said he did! But if the possibility of failure was allegedly not even on the table, overcoming wasn't even necessary - or even possible!

How could Jesus overcome that which had ZERO chance of defeating him?

These unbiblical ideas show contempt for what Jesus did in the 'days of his flesh'.

He in the days of his flesh, having offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One being able to save him from death, and having been heard because of reverent submission. Heb 5:7

This is a stark reminder of the constant possibility of failure. One sin would have destroyed the whole divine plan. Being the Lamb of God - slain for the whole world required him to be perfect - without blemish or sin.

we have one (Jesus) who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin. Heb 4:15

Yet not My will, but Yours be done. Luke 22:42

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. John 6:38

If Jesus had his own will which differed from God's then he is not God. How can God have two opposing wills? If Jesus had another will, then he could have followed it to sin, otherwise the will was pointless. Was he a puppet of God? No, having his own will meant he had to choose to obey - every waking moment for 33 years! (all the days of his flesh)

What then did Jesus overcome?

You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1John 4:4

...having been made like us in every way, his brothers and sisters... Heb 2:17

Jesus overcame by the power, the love, the grace, the mercy of God in him through the holy spirit - just as his brothers and sisters do. He did so by the greater power of God in him than the power of Satan around him.

  • Either he is like us or he is not
  • Either he can be tempted like us or he cannot
  • Either he has God dwelling within him like us or he has his own power

Jesus overcame the world - the evil one who rules the world, the self-centred way of the world that would always put the self-will first. He overcame self. Every temptation appealed to promote the self - his needs his desires, his way. The devil used this ploy because pride always promotes self.

But Jesus trusted, loved, obeyed God (learned by suffering Heb 5:8, 2:10) and always put God's will first. No wonder his directive for us was;

do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. . . . 33But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you. Matt 6

I overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne. Rev 3:21

Only by proving his willingness to submit to God, instead of evil, to obey God's every word, could he be ruler over the cosmos under God. He could not rule without first being ruled. He was ruled with love and he trusted that love above all distractions - just as he asks us to so - seek first the Kingdom.

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