It could be that simple!

1

John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus and the announcer of the Christ, is in the Jordan river.  He is baptizing people for repentance when Jesus approaches.  John shouts, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  Jesus enters the Jordan and stands next to John and the crowd fixes it eyes upon these two men.  What will happen?  Will Jesus take over for John?  Will John and Jesus both start baptizing people?  Will Jesus preach and announce His rule?  Speculation and mystery abound, then as if there was a mistake in the script, Jesus tells John to baptize him.  I can only imagine the conversation that took place.

(Jesus) Baptize me.

(John)  Me?  No you should baptize me.

(Jesus) No, John, baptize me… people are watching.

(John)  Jesus, did you not hear that whole “Lamb of God” thing I said a few minutes ago? You should baptize me.

(Jesus)  John, this is the right thing to do, now baptize me.

(John)  Okay… (said with a heavy sigh)

When Jesus comes out of the water, the Father opens the curtain between the seen and the unseen and the Spirit descends upon Jesus and the Father speaks, “You are my son, I love you and I am pleased with you.”

What a declaration from the Father.  In every way this is a “Wow! Wow! Wow!” moment. How these words must have made Jesus’ day.  How these words must have touched Jesus’ heart and mind.  One thing is for sure, these words shaped everything, wait, let me add some emphasis…  EVERYTHING Jesus did from that point forward.  Let me say it again, WOW!

Here are a few quotes from Jesus as he lived and completed his ministry.

“I only do what I see the Father doing.”

“Me and the Father, we are one.”

“If you have seen me you have seen the Father.”

“I do everything that pleases the Father.”

“Father… not my will but yours be done.”

Everything that Jesus did from this point on was a direct response to the Father’s declaration at his baptism.  Jesus’ words, thoughts, actions, strength, identity and joy came from this declaration. But also we should note that everything else in his life was a challenge to this declaration.  Jesus was immediately lead to the wilderness by the Spirit and there he fasted and when 40 days had gone by he was tempted by Satan.  Watch this now.

Satan says to Jesus – “If you really are the Son of God…”  What?  Did you see that, Satan calls into question the very message the Father gave to Jesus.  “You are my son”  “If you are the Son of God.”  Next, Satan says to Jesus as they stand atop the highest point of the temple, “Throw yourself down, surely he will watch over you and he will not let you stumble and fall.”  This is a direct assault on the words of the Father, “whom I love”.  Satan was challenging the love of the Father.  Does he really love you; see if he takes care of you.  Finally they stood upon the highest mountain and Satan says, “I will give this to you if you will worship me.”  Let me rephrase that; “If you make me the one you please, I will show my pleasure by giving you this treasure.”  This is a direct challenge to the declaration of his Father “in you I find great pleasure” and Satan is tempting Jesus to switch his allegiance from the Father to himself.

What got Jesus in so much trouble was, in a very real way, how he lived out his relationship to his Father.  He thought of him above others, did what he said perfectly, spoke his words completely, revealed him fully, and in the end, fulfilled his will by taking the cross of Calvary.  The accusation against him was, he makes God to be “HIS Father.”  (emphasis added)

 

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In the life of Christ we have so much to discover and learn, and one of the lessons we must learn and imitate is how to live as a “child of God”.  In the Bible, the apostle John reminds us that when we receive Christ and believe on his name, we are given the right to be called “Sons of God.”  Later John shows us that one of the great results of being loved by God is to be called children of God.  We discover from the words of the Apostle Paul that we have been given the Spirit of Adoption by which we call God  “Abba, Father.”  In fact, the Bible makes it very clear that by faith, we have been adopted into the family of God and we are indeed his kids.  Once again, Paul wrote for us that we should be “imitators of God… (wait for it) as dearly love children.”  It is as if he is saying, “Just like Jesus did what the Father wanted, we should live this way too.”  I get the picture of a child, watching his father stand a certain way and then standing that way, sit a certain way and sitting that way too, speak with certain phrases and adopting these phrases too.  Why?  Because the child believes his dad is AWESOME!

One of the lessons I am learning is to focus on what it means to be a son, who is loved and in whom his Father finds pleasure.  My life gains stability and strength when I succeed in living as God’s kid and loses strength when I am not successful in remembering my identity. The strength I gain or lose is not my own but rather the strength my Father offers me.  My life holds purpose or loses purpose in the reality of this amazing truth; I am God’s kid.  My heart finds love, my mind is renewed, my purpose is clarified, my strength is energized, my pain finds comfort and I find great joy when I can anchor myself to this truth, I AM GOD’S KID!

I have some really awesome friends who adopt kids and every time I am with them, I am humbled by this act of Christ likeness.  Here’s how the adoption process works:  My friends search for a kid without a family or with a family in great crisis.  They, at their own cost, reach to that kid, make that kid their own, provide for the kid, give the kid a place to grow and thrive, give their new son/daughter a name, food, love, affection, identity, values and so much more.  Adoption gives that kid full rights as a son/daughter. The adopting parents assume financial, spiritual, physical, emotional and social responsibility for their kid.  The kid is not theirs because of his/her own declaration and effort but rather because of the effort and declaration of the parents.  This is how our adoption finds its reality.  We are children of God because of the work of Christ and the declaration of a Father who has all the power to make it so.  This status was not given me because I had strength, wisdom, beauty, prowess but rather when I was rejected, lost, broken and without hope.  I receive this status from a Father who say’s it is true and my only responsibility is to “receive him and to believe on his name” and when I do… I am given the right to become a child of God!  Satan will throw everything he can to destroy and weaken this reality because he trembles when those who have been adopted by God, live in full joy as children of God.

 

~ by OFF we go now on July 11, 2014.

One Response to “It could be that simple!”

  1. Thank you for this post!

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