July 21, 2021
Rachel and I would like to express our thanks to you for your commitment and partnership in prayer for our prodigals and for revival each Wednesday.
As we pray to our God, we need to be careful not to let the circumstances of life overwhelm us. We know that God has abundant power. We know that God has abounding love for all His children. Therefore we pray in confidence. But we need to keep our own hearts and minds filled with the wonder and glory of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. This will draw us closer to Him and will be a great source of strength.
He is altogether magnificent!
One event in His life that I have enjoyed lately is His baptism. Recorded in all four gospels, it is an event that is shrouded in mystery and beauty. Each of the four writers has something different to say that is worth noticing.
Matthew records the hesitancy of John to baptize one so great as his Messiah. John felt as if it should be the other way around and Jesus should baptize him. “But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented” (Matthew 3:15).
The Lord Jesus loved righteousness because He loved His Father. He always loved to do the right thing. In the gospel that depicts Jesus as the true King, this quality is foundational.
Mark, on the other hand, emphasizes what the Spirit of God did. “And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mark 1:10).
There was no hesitation, no reluctance, and no stopping the Spirit of God from manifesting His presence with the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark says that the Spirit descended like a dove upon Him, and it was immediate.
The Spirit worked in unity with Jesus, all through His earthly ministry and it is beautiful to behold. The perfect Servant of Mark’s gospel was also immediate in His response to the Spirit’s leading.
Luke is the gospel that portrays Jesus as a real man. He was and is God the Son, but He became like us in human flesh, apart from sin. As a man, He was fully dependent upon His God. This is what Luke focuses on. “Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying” (Luke 3:21).
While John was busy preaching and baptizing, Jesus was in communion with His Father. He was praying. From the way Luke writes it, it seems as if Jesus never stopped praying, even during His baptism. What a wonderful example for us!
The main purpose of John’s gospel (written by John the Apostle, not John the Baptist) was to give proof of who Jesus really was - the Son of God! It is not surprising that John the Baptist said, “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34).
According to Thayer, the meaning of witness is “to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because of divine revelation or inspiration.”
Both aspects were true with John. He knew the miracle of Jesus' birth. He saw His perfect life for thirty years. Now with divine revelation, He declared Him to be the Son of God.
As we pray today, may our hearts rejoice that we are linked with such a Savior.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel