The religious find their spirituality in appearances. The Spirit is the real deal. Jesus cut through the religiosity of the day to make everything about spirit and truth. And you can’t fake the Spirit. Lord, help me connect with the power and presence of the Spirit of God…
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph.
Luke 3:15-16, 21-23
John the Baptist’s ministry got everyone excited and thinking about whether he was the promised Messiah. John was not Messiah, and he was most pleased to tell people that. He never claimed to be greater than his role, which was that of proclaiming that Messiah was coming. In John’s mind, Jesus had to become greater and John become less in the eyes of the world (John 3:30).
And then came Jesus, now thirty years old, stepping into the waters of John’s baptism even though he was God in the flesh, not needing any declaration of repentance. What he was doing, however, was being the model human for us. The voice from heaven declared that Jesus is the Son of God and that Father is pleased with him.
The so-thought son of Joseph was declared to be the Son of God at that moment.
He was the Son of God all along, yet the world knew him not. They didn’t know Jesus apart from Joseph’s family before that moment. They wouldn’t, however, accept him as the Son of God once he started his ministry.
Funny that. They asked John the Baptist if he was the Messiah, yet when the Messiah came they did not receive him. Jesus’ acceptance was from the lowly and downtrodden. The powerful and religious were threatened. The Spirit was likely a big factor in that intimidation.
The Spirit descended visibly upon Jesus during his baptism. Jesus came as the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. What a difference-maker. And what a problem for the religious. Why? Because the religious find their spirituality in appearances.
The Spirit is the real deal.
Jesus cut through the religiosity of the day to make everything about spirit and truth. And you can’t fake the Spirit. Lord, help me reflect on the power and presence of the Spirit of God in my own life and to abandon religiosity of any kind today…