Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Baptism And Temptation Of Christ

(Matthew3:13 -17)  Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
(Matthew 4:1-11) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Jesus throughout His ministry referred to Himself as the Son of Man and was cognizant of His duel nature as man born not of the seed of man but of the will of the Holy Spirit and indwelled by God. He sought to be baptized by John and honor His Father before the eyes of men, in so doing He exemplified the importance of God in the lives of men. Biblical baptism is an outward act whereby the participant is immersed below the surface of the water and raised back up signifying the death of the old self and a rebirth of a new life, a desire to wash away past sin and live a clean life before God. It is a statement of an inward desire to change and put away ego and give God His rightful place in one’s life. 

Following His baptism Jesus fasted in the wilderness to deny any dependence on the world. Given the circumstance of His supernatural conception, he was born devoid of the curse of mankind’s original sin and was likewise tempted as Adam and Eve had been and yet prevailed over Satan. Note that the temptation was identical to that which Eve was subjected to, Satan appealed to Jesus need for food, He was near starvation. He asked Him to prove that He was the Son of God by turning the stones into loves of bread. He offered Jesus a shortcut to become king over the kingdoms of the world. Satan then offered Jesus the world if He would only obey him. This is Satan's standard modus operandi, something we should take note of. Jesus's responses all came as scripture from the written word of God leaving Satan defeated as Jesus fulfilled yet another prophesy concerning Himself. Thus was the beginning of Jesus’s ministry on earth.

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