Use your sanctified imagination and imagine the contemporary scenario.The bus loads return to Nazareth. The crowds which have been thronging to the Jordan River return to Nazareth, and someone asks, "Have you been down yet, Jesus? Do you know what this man John is doing? He is ducking people in the waters of the Jordan. You ought to go and hear him preaching and see what he is doing. We are arranging another bus for next Monday. Come with us." The time has now come when Jesus hangs up His Carpenter's apron for the final time and makes His way down and down to the Jordan River. Jesus has been waiting for 18 years for this moment. Do you find waiting difficult? Do you have a real problem with this matter of being patient? If we resolve this in Christ, then many other matters which bother us can evaporate and disappear. We have heard nothing whatsoever about Jesus since that incident in Luke Chapter 2 when Joseph and Mary took him to the Feast in Jerusalem, and Jesus was discovered some time later in the Temple. We come to that point now, in Luke Chapter 3, where Jesus Christ walks on to the scene of the world's stage, never again to leave it. John had now readied the people. It was now time. Jesus chooses to be baptised in order to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus did not need to be baptised. He had no sin to confess. It is right to do what is right. It is this Jesus who says to those whom he calls, "Follow me". Jesus associates and identifies himself with what God is doing through John's ministry. Jesus makes that personal break with his personal past. Be involved in what God is doing. John knew he needed more than baptism in water and that is why we read that John is reluctant to baptise Jesus. John know he needs to be baptised by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, but that cannot happen yet - not until Cross and Resurrection and Ascension have each taken their significant place. Matthew describes this aspect. Jesus comes up out of the water and as Jesus is praying something wonderfully extraordinary happens. The clouds part and 'something' appears to be fluttering and descending. We know now that it is the Holy Spirit, or rather He the Holy Spirit. English can become difficult at times when dealing with spiritual and theological truth. Reassuring words are spoken by God the Father. There is assurance and approval. God the Father was so pleased with Jesus. Seldom do we read of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all active and involved in one setting, but that is revealed here by the Jordan River. Jesus family tree is then given. Imagine if the ancestry of Jesus Christ had been traced back, only to arrive at, some family of apes, or a colony of chimpanzees. I have never had any time for this monkey business. The family tree of Jesus Christ is traced back to Adam, the son of God. What have we been dealing with in these opening words? We read of poverty - sin - corruption - bullying - pay and greed - persecution and imprisonment - baptism - and the description of the forthcoming ministry of Jesus - the anointing of the Holy Spirit - and Creation. The scene is now set for the Saviour to begin His saving and redeeming and healing and rescuing work, and yet before all that can take place, there is very real spiritual battle which the son of God has to fight and emerge triumphant and victorious.
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