Jesus Christ: 4th Journey
This journey marks the beginning of the second period (for educational purposes) of Jesus' Life. We begin the talk about the beginning of Jesus' Ministry. From Jesus' Baptism to the temptation He endured in the wilderness, there is plenty to learn here. Be blessed!
This is a special edition journey
The Main Story of This Journey
Note: Prepare your own Bible and please read all of the Scriptures given on this page.
Part 1: Jesus' Baptism
Scripture for Part 1
Mark 1:1-11; Matthew 3:1-17; Luke 3:1-23.
John the Baptist is first recorded here to be preaching, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of GOD (same as Kingdom of Heaven) is at hand.' This was a cry to help others repent of their sin, because they would receive a reward soon - 'at hand' literally meant "immediately". Next, John shouted for them to prepare the way for the LORD to come. This had shocked some people nearby, with them thinking that if this is truly GOD who came down as a human, would He destroy them? So, Jesus was feared right from the start of His Ministry.
It is customary for a Jew to be in 'mikva' - that is, immersed in water. However, this was not for "baptismal ritual sake". Recognize immediately what we see in Scripture: The turning point of using immersion to using only the Holy Ghost. Here is where things get interesting, Jesus steps close to John the Baptist. Jesus asked for baptism, yet John the Baptist refused Him. But, after His insistence, John had done the old method of immersion as known in the Jewish custom, but when Jesus came out of the water - The Holy Ghost came out of a split open sky and rested on Jesus' shoulder, proving that baptism at that moment changed from immersion, to just the Holy Ghost infilling. From then on, baptism with water was no longer necessary, because the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the new way that believers were and are marked for GOD (the Holy Ghost's mark on their life).
This glorious occasion set up Jesus with the Holy Ghost, and fulfilled prophecy in a few different ways. John the Baptist preached before Jesus had arrived, and John doing his normal water baptism rituals told the town-folk that even though he (John) baptizes with water, there is someone (Jesus) coming who will baptize with 'fire'. The fire he spoke of was of Holy Ghost Fire, for GOD is a consuming Fire (Hebrews 12:29). Fire reminds us that we have a Maker/Creator in Heaven, and to not play with fire. A reasonable human would understand to never play with fire, because it can cause a wealth of issues in human lives. The earth suffers because of fire. Volcanic activity is rooted in fire. Wildfires consume many hectares of forestry and other lands. Fire can destroy, and fire can build. It shows us that GOD has both abilities: To destroy with fire and build things with fire.
When the LORD GOD initiates Holy Ghost fire in someone's life, He is building their Life, and rebuilding their soul. Many people are aware of the characteristic work that GOD has in our lives for those who are elect. Many people do agree with they can feel the fire of GOD within their heart and soul when they have been enlightened by the Light of Jesus Christ. The mark of Salvation is to see the Light within, and if you are unable to see the Light within, your Salvation should be reconfirmed.
At Jesus' Baptism, GOD spoke these awesome words, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'. We do recognize in the Book of Revelation that even Jesus, who poses as GOD the SON, has fire in His Eyes (Revelation 1:14).
John was a baby during the time Herod demanded that all male babies be killed (see earlier episodes of this series); therefore, John was saved as well as we see. John was six months older than Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist had a gift that was similar to the Old Testament prophets, and keep in mind that John the Baptist is the fulfillment of the prophecy that the spirit of Elijah will reincarnate – therefore, John is that reincarnation.
About repentance: Repentance allows someone to make a change in their life, from something bad to good (sin to righteousness), which allows renewing of the heart. For example, if something is bad, you believe, then you can turn your life around for good – which is an act of repentance.
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist for several reasons identified in Scripture: 1. To identify completely with mankind; 2. Water Baptism is symbolic of Jesus’ death in the future that also involved resurrection; 3. To be set aside for the office of Priest.
Now time for us to explore the Scriptures related to this beautiful event…
Matthew 3: “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Now, before rolling back into prophecy… Let us first read in John 1:19-28, “And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.”
What a fulfillment of prophecy, the Lord Jesus Christ… Let us read our first fulfillment in Matthew 17:12-13, “But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”
Now, we go over to Colossians 2:11-12, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
Part 2: Jesus' Temptation in the wilderness
Scripture for Part 2
Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13
Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, a classic account from Jesus’ life when satan attempted to convince Jesus to sin (temptation). Although satan tempted Jesus continuously, Jesus would not give in and be tempted successfully. This temptation came after Jesus had just finished fasting for 40 days and nights in the Judaean Desert. Reportedly in the Bible, Jesus was tempted in every way that man was; however, Jesus successfully resisted the devil, which caused satan to flee from Him – and afterward, angels came and ministered to the Son of God.
Let’s read the account of it in Matthew 4:1-11, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
What were the temptations:
- Physical – Lust of the flesh – Turning stone to bread
- Spiritual – Pride of life – Leaping from the Temple
- Psychological – Lust of power – Desiring the glory of the kingdoms of the world
Teaching and review
Notice first that Jesus was tempted after being declared the Son of GOD and the Savior of the world. This tells us firsthand that even "tokens of divine favor" will not free you from being tempted of the devil. We should have joy though that the Holy Ghost comes and helps us, ministering to us (as He did with Jesus after the temptations were over). The devil played upon human strengths and weaknesses. When we decide to depend on our strengths, our weaknesses are attacked with temptations (James 1:14).
We learn that satan attempts to take advantage of our circumstances, satan’s temptations are often the strongest immediately after being favored, and satan’s ideas are plausible in that they seem good, but are not actually. That devil chooses to bug us the moment we become vulnerable. Jesus shows us how to counter the temptations and endure in steadfastness, and give us the ideal guide – The Word – for use in our everyday lives.
Jesus used Scripture to refute temptations (and we should to). When we are tempted, we have hope in Christ Jesus that He has overcome the world and has made us overcomers through Him (John 16:33; Romans 8:37). Jesus experienced all levels of temptation and knows that they can be escaped successfully, so that He would not allow the devil to place on us temptations that are unreasonable or that we cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).
What was very interesting is realizing that two of the temptations that are recorded that Jesus was tempted with, Jesus ended up doing so much better than the value they were provoked (satan provoked Jesus with salvation, hunger, and fame). Here we are:
- Tempting to turn stones to bread... Later, we will see that Jesus fed the 4,000 and then the 5,000 with loaves and fishes by multiplication (Jesus far exceeded such standards of that temptation), but He was doing it because it is ministry, not because of showing the devil ("haha, look what I did"). Jesus was never boastful, except of GOD'S Kingdom.
- Tempting Jesus to take over kingdoms... Jesus spoke that GOD'S Kingdom is not of this world. Jesus has promised, per GOD'S Will alone, that He will return and rule His People in the Kingdom of GOD, especially in the New Jerusalem as part of the New Heavens and the New Earth (Revelation). The Kingdom of GOD will be so much more of dominion, expansive, and better than any kingdoms of the earth. satan's standards were far too small here. satan had also blasphemed GOD in the process of this temptation - Jesus could have had satan locked up right there immediately, but this does show that satan will never be forgiven, because blasphemy of GOD (The Holy Ghost) is the unforgivable sin.
Jesus surpassed even satan during these temptations, and showed His Divinity, and that this wily devil's ignorance and duplicity were predictable. In our lives, we can likely reach the point to where we are spiritual enough to notice these temptations when they come, and look at them outside the box for what they are. Notice that the temptation is trying to bring you into sin. Mindfully point this out and label the temptation so that you will know that you will not give in within the future. But sometimes, it isn't this easy, and I understand the difficulty. satan likes to tempt people, but he uses his darkness with a veil of light on the outside to tempt us so that it looks good and fulfilling on the outside, but on the inside it is full of darkness and shame. That devil works as a wolf disguised in sheep's clothing. Comes along looking like a sheep, but inwardly a ravenous wolf seeking whom he can devour, steal, kill, and destroy. However, GOD has the upper hand in every victory, and every victory is yours in the Name of the Son of GOD! Amen.