2 – The Work Begins
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son with you I am well pleased.
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- Wilderness: A dry area, uncomfortable, without a lot of water or plants growing
- Satan: Leader of the angels who turned against God
- Angels: Messengers of God
What strange things happened in the baptism of Jesus which didn’t happen in anyone else’s baptism?
When you are preparing for something difficult like a test or a competition, what sort of things help you?
Now, since John has prepared the way, it is time for Jesus to begin his work, and it begins in the strangest way. Whilst the other people are coming to repent of their sins and be baptised, something completely different happens to Jesus. Whilst he is coming out of the water, God says that He is pleased with Jesus. By these words God shows us something which had not been made clear in the past. The Holy Spirit descends from heaven and the voice of God the Father praises God the Son. What is beginning to become clear is that, although there is only one God, he exists in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – yet there is still only one God. This idea is beyond us because, as human beings, we can never fully understand God.
After the wonderful experience of hearing his Father praising him, Jesus is sent by the Spirit into the desert. In this dreary place Jesus spent over a month being tempted by the devil. Why did this have to happen? Firstly, Jesus demonstrated that he was able to resist temptation even in the desert, differently to Adam the first man, who sinned when he was in a beautiful garden. Secondly, Jesus showed that he had been successful in resisting temptation, unlike the Israelites who had failed to do so when they were in the desert after leaving Egypt. Thirdly, this period was preparing Jesus for the hard years of work which were in front of him, work which would lead to his death on a cross.
Why is it a comfort to us to know that Jesus was tempted in every way possible, but without sinning?
In what way is God able to use hard periods in our lives in order to prepare us to do his work?
that God the Father, the Son the Holy Spirit will help you to understand the Bible, to depend on the strength of Jesus Christ and to believe that every situation is for your benefit and to prepare you for the future.