THE BAPTISM & PREACHING OF JESUS
1. A kindergarten boy was trying to write down the most important things that had happened to him over the summer. He asked his dad, a preacher, how to spell ‘God.’
2. His dad smiled with pride, thinking what a great thing it was he had so much influence on his son. So he gladly spelled, “G-O-D.” The boy wrote it down. Then he turned to his father once more and said, Now, how do you spell ‘zilla’?”
“9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” “12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
1. We’re looking today at Jesus’ baptism, how the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness, and how He began to preach the Good News (Gospel) of the Kingdom.
2. The title of this message is “The Baptism & Preaching of Jesus.”
I. WHY WAS IT NECESSARY THAT JESUS BE BAPTIZED?
A. TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS
Matthew 3:14-15, John said, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
1. First, this shows Christ’s GREAT HUMILITY; that He who knew no sin would submit to the baptism of repentance. John thought it ought to be the other way round: that he should be baptized of Christ, because prophetically, John was Christ’s forerunner, the announcer of Christ.
2. John himself had prodigious achievements: he was one of the few ever filled with the Holy Ghost his mother’s womb, Luke 1:15; Jesus said he was the greatest ever was born of woman, Mt. 11:11, and he led the way for the reawakening of Israel, Mt. 11:12.
3. But Christ was now in a state of humiliation: He had emptied himself and made Himself of no reputation. Therefore, let him be baptized by John; as if he needed to be washed, though perfectly pure; and he was made sin for us, though he knew no sin.
B. THE MEANS OF RECOGNIZING THE MESSIAH
1. The second reason Jesus must be baptized by John was that this was the means of His being revealed to Israel. John was not certain who the Messiah was until he saw and heard the divine recognition. John said, “And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’” John 1:33. Messiah & Christ both mean Anointed One.
2. In addition, John heard the Father say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” Matt. 3:17. John also saw “heaven being torn open” Mk. 1:10. The Greek word used is s????µ????? and references cloth being ripped in two. The Father ripped the matter of the universe to admit a deluge of the Spirit directly from Heaven onto Jesus.
C. JESUS SET AN EXAMPLE FOR US
1. The Book of Acts (1:1) says that Jesus “began first to do, and then to teach.” He practiced what He preached. He set us an example (John 13:15) of what we’re supposed to do as Christians. Jesus said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master” Mt. 10:25. He was willing to be baptized and his followers must follow the same pattern.
2. Also, Christ’s baptism fulfilled the righteousness of the ceremonial law. Ritual baths were conducted for the ritually impure and for converts to Judaism (Heb. 9:19). Christ’s submitting to baptism fulfilled all points related to ritual purification.
II. THE SPIRIT’S LEADERSHIP IN JESUS’ LIFE
“12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
A. SEPARATION TO GOD
1. God’s good Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness, vs. 12. Why? If we would know more of God, we must get alone with God. God is not to be found in the works of man, but He’s more easily found in nature (i.e., Psalm 19:1-3). All during His ministry, Jesus went out to “solitary places.” “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mk. 1:35).
2. In John 15, Jesus told us to "abide” in the Vine; that means to "wait for", "to remain in the same place.” The Spirit wants to lead us into the quiet place of the Most High to commune with Him!
B. TESTING: A MEANS OF GROWTH
1. The Holy Spirit also led Jesus into testing. Being tested makes us stronger. It frequently purifies us from evil. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work SO THAT YOU MAY BE MATURE AND COMPLETE, lacking nothing” Jam. 1:2-4.
2. HOW CAN WE PREPARE FOR TEMPTATIONS?
a. BE FULL OF THE WORD OF GOD. Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
b. BE IN FELLOWSHIP WITH JESUS. The strong presence of Christ in/with you will defeat temptation. When you’re full of Christ, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” 1 Jn. 4:4.
c. ILLUS. A Young woman said, “Satan was knocking at my door. I asked Jesus to answer the door. When He did, Satan saw Jesus and said, “Oops, wrong house!”
3. TEMPTATIONS ARE LIMITED. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Cor. 10:13. “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy…!” JUDE 24.
4. That there were wild animals in the wilderness with Jesus shows the Father's care over us even in danger. Later on Jesus would be among men very similar to the wild animals (1 Cor. 15:32). Satan tempted Him, but God also sent angels to minister to Him. As Psalm 34:7 says, "The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them." Praise God!
III. JESUS SUPPLANTS JOHN IN PREACHING THE KINGDOM
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
A. PROPHETIC MESSAGE: GOD’S KINGDOM IS NOW HERE!
1. The Kingdom of God is the dynamic extension of God's rule over a human’s life by the coming of the Spirit. "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21; Romans 14:17).
2. But it’s also the future literal kingdom of God established on earth by God's advent, in which all other kingdoms are destroyed, which began with Christ’s first coming. Daniel 2:44; 1 Thess. 2:12, 2 Thess. 1:5. We all have a prophetic message to tell those around us!
B. THE PERSONAL APPLICATION OF THIS MESSAGE
1. The Lord Jesus proclaimed the same message John had been declaring, “Repent and believe the good news (Gospel)!” John had a ministry of repentance and so did Jesus – and so do we! God’s message to sinful humanity hasn’t changed.
2. MEANING OF REPENT = R3
a. REGRET – to know that your actions are ‘displeasing to God,’ and therefore to feel sorry for your sin/ wrong.
b. REVERSAL. To ‘repent’ means to make a UTURN. To pull off the freeway of sin, do a uturn, then to head back the opposite direction.
c. RESTITUTION – means to ‘right the wrong.’ Sometimes you need to go back and apologize; other times to take back what you stole, or to pay back what you owe.
3. We must also “BELIEVE” in Jesus and His work on Calvary to save us. The Gospel message is best capsulized in John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
4. Will you trust in Jesus to be your Savior today?
A. ILLUSTRATION: The Rock
1. A little boy was spending his Saturday morning playing in his sandbox. He had with him his box of cars and trucks. In the process of creating roads and tunnels in the soft sand, he discovered a large rock in the middle of the sandbox.
2. He dug around the rock, dislodged it from the sand, and pushed it across the sandbox to the edge. But he found he couldn't roll it over the little wall.
3. Determined, the little boy shoved, pushed, and pried, until he got the rock on top of the little wall, but at the last moment it tipped and then fell back into the sandbox onto his toes.
4. Finally he burst into tears of frustration. All this time the boy's father watched from his living room window as the drama unfolded. At the moment the tears fell, a large shadow fell across the boy and the sandbox. It was the boy's father.
5. Gently but firmly he said, "Son, why didn't you use all the strength that you had available? "But I did, Daddy, I did! I used all the strength that I had!”
6. "No, son," corrected the father kindly. "You didn't use all the strength you had. You didn't ask me." With that the father reached down, picked up the rock, and removed it from the sandbox.
B. ALTAR CALL
1. Are we trying to carry our burdens by ourselves? Why don’t you cast your cares upon Jesus and ask Him to help you bear them?
2. Are you going through storms? When I mentioned the various causes of storms, did one of them resonate with your situation? Let’s pray.