GOSPEL MEDITATION #172
The Baptism, Temptation and Beginning of Jesus’s Ministry
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- Jesus submits to John’s baptism, and no one is sure exactly why. He did not need cleansing from sin.
- John at first refused to baptize Jesus, but then Jesus responded that it was “to fulfill all righteousness.” (see Matthew 3:15) It remains a mystery.
- The voice from heaven, the Father, affirms the Son, and not only to those present but also to and for Jesus, the Son.
- Verse 11 is a sharp reminder that Jesus is completely human as well as deity, the paradox of the God-man.
- Here again we see the humanity of the Messiah, being tempted, and by the devil in fact. Was it possible for Jesus to fall into the temptation: the answer must be yes. If not, Jesus would be a ‘fake’ man like the Gnostics reasoned.
- “Forty days” – may be taken symbolically as forty for a symbol for that which was dreadful.
- Angels ministered to Jesus, and in what manner we do not know and it is not helpful to attempt to fill in the gaps.
- John is arrested soon after the baptism, perhaps the plan of God since John’s ministry was completed.
- Jesus begins now with the declaration that the kingdom of God is at hand, or begun. Where Jesus is, there is the kingdom.
- Repent and believe in the gospel – nothing has changed.