Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Musing 03/13/10, Mt.3;13-15, Another "Why?" question by John

Another "Why" question.

Matthew 3:13-15: "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John consented."

Every Christian knows about the baptism of Jesus and about the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus. The Spirit appeared to observers, or possibly just to Him as a dove. That doesn't mean the Holy Spirit is a dove, right? God's Spirit is not finite, and is not tiny like a dove either. It doesn't mean that the Spirit always comes like He did then, or that His coming happens only after someone is baptized in water. That's reading more into the Scripture than is there. The coming of the Holy Spirit on anyone results in that person being immersed in the Spirit. That's baptism of the Spirit. Baptism with water is a witness to everyone that you have put your trust in Jesus and that you are going to become like Him.

The question in my mind, and that I am exploring may not be answerable by us now. Why did the Holy Spirit come upon Jesus at all? Did He have a need for the Holy Spirit? Was the Holy Spirit already present in Him, or with Him? Did He set aside His godliness to such an extent that the Spirit had to come to complete Him? These are puzzling ideas, aren't they? I don't presently have an answer, and in this world I may never. It might be best to simply say our Father wanted it to happen just that way. That is truth, of course. The next thought is, does God want us to know why it happened, and about that we can't be sure either, can we? Jesus told us that the times and the seasons are in God's hands. That's something we can spend a lot of time on, and people have, but in the end we don't really know exactly what, and exactly when things are going to happen.

Perhaps if we examine the Scriptures.... Ah, yes, there are answers there, but what we have may not satisfy us. We always want to know more, and we want more of every good thing, don't we? So much of what we read, we really don't understand. At least, that's true for me. I've studied the Scripture carefully since I met Jesus before I was 18 so that's about 64 years of experience in searching out God's truths, but I do not claim to know all, or even many, of the answers to spiritual questions. I'm just a witness to the power of Jesus to turn a life completely around so that it will bear fruit. I'm still a student at the feet of the Master Teacher, and I am in love with Him. Nothing good that I have done is a result of myself. It is all the work of the Lord. I won't try to judge my work. If I did, I'm afraid I wouldn't get a passing mark. I am so thankful to God for the grace He constantly bestows on me, and every person who commits his life to Jesus. I'm not alone in my struggle. New children come into God's family daily, and we all struggle with our past, our present and our future lives. Just when we think we have finally arrived, like Paul, we have to say, "I do not count myself to have arrived." We know the tempting delicacies of this created world are all around us clamoring for our attention and participation. Sometimes we fall for some of those things God has told us to leave alone. The young ruler who came to Jesus aware that he was really missing something went away disappointed because the riches in his hands were more important to him than becoming God's child. I trust God. He has promised to never leave nor forsake us. He saves us from sin and eternal death, and He saves us from our own destructive selves.

The biggest "why" questions I think are, why do we want more than God gives? And why don't we have enough faith to wait until He does give? And why don't we know Him better? In the presence of questions like these, why do we quibble about baptism with water? Why don't we just do it? The Bible certainly tells us we should. Now here's possibly the biggest one. Why don't all of us who trust the Lord love each other enough to get along together like the brothers and sisters we are?

We human beings may have no answer for a
"why?" that you have, but I can give you the information you need to handle all your questions. It's the central message of the whole Bible. Our Heavenly Father sent Jesus Himself to be the final answer to all questions. Even without answers, the mercy, grace and love that He provides when He comes into our lives is sufficient. Our patience as Christians will carry us through until we are with Him, and He provides the answers.


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