Summary: Exploring the ministry and mission of Jesus
The Beginning of a Dynamic Ministry
Series: Then Jesus…
June 2, 2013
Reading through the gospels will unmistakably cause one to encounter the person and the purpose of Jesus. The gospels are filled with the work and the purpose of Jesus. Every page reveals another glimpse of His character and deeper insight into Christ’s redemptive work.
A simple two word phrase that appears often in the gospels is the subject of this series; Then Jesus… Each time these words appear in the gospel accounts, they signal something of importance is about to take place in the ministry and mission of Jesus. These words set off the dynamic nature of Christ’s personal work. The phrase Then Jesus… gives us another piece of the puzzle of His purpose. Each reference to these words adds another snapshot to the scrapbook of the Savior. Every moment is another revelation of the mission and ministry of Jesus.
Jesus arrived on this earth with a mission to fulfill and a ministry to complete. Each time we read the words, Then Jesus…, we are one step closer to the mission being fulfilled and one step closer to the ministry being completed.
Mission: Why Jesus came to earth
Ministry: What Jesus came to accomplish
Moments of Mission
Baptism of Jesus (Empowerment) – Beginning of the mission and the ministry
Temptation of Jesus (Enablement) – Power over the evil one
Sending of the 12 (Equipping) – Expansion of the mission
Moments of Ministry
Raising of Lazarus (Power) – Display of Christ’s power over death
Feeding of the 5,000 (Provision) – Demonstration of Christ’s ability to provide
Garden of Gethsemane (Petition) – Dependence on the will of the Father
This morning as we launch this series, it seems appropriate to begin where the mission and the ministry of Jesus got started.
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "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. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:13-17
Before there could be any mission and before there could be any ministry, Jesus had to first come. Jesus had to leave His place in heaven for the confines of earth. Jesus had to go through the transformation of the incarnation to begin the work of mission and ministry.
The first of the Then Jesus events starts everything – Then Jesus came… We look at this and often just gloss over it and think it is merely a reference to the fact that Jesus traveled to meet with John. However, something more is happening here. Jesus is setting events in motion that will change the fabric of history. Jesus is bringing monumental change to the spiritual climate of Israel.
Six reasons Jesus came
1. Bring good news
2. Seek and save the lost
3. Pay our spiritual debts
4. Provide a door to life
5. Demonstrate the love of God
6. Bring us into the family of God
Jesus makes us aware of righteousness
Why did Jesus need to be baptized? There was no sin to be cleansed and there was no need for any type of redemption. Jesus tells John that He is being baptized to fulfill the requirements for righteousness. The mission of Jesus begins with righteousness. We view baptism as a sign that a person has turned their life over to the Lordship of Christ.
Righteousness means to be right. The righteousness of God is perfect or complete. There will never be a time when God is wrong. God is always right, always perfectly or completely right. The reason that Jesus is baptized is because it is the right thing to do. Jesus sets the model for righteousness by doing what is right. We are called to a lifestyle of righteousness and living in a manner that is right before God.
Jesus models the right behavior
The purpose of this event is to model the behavior that Jesus wants us to follow. Jesus made the choice to show His followers the way. Jesus begins His public ministry with an example of humility. Jesus reveals that He too was one born under the Law by participating in the baptism.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21