“My food is to do the will of Him that sent Me…” John 4:34
Jesus died twice!! How can this be? The first time he died was when He went down into the Jordan River to be baptized by John. The second time was on Calvary. We know that Jesus’ conception and birth were uniquely by the Holy Spirit. We know also that He was filled with the Holy Spirit during his entire youth, up until the age of thirty…thus, without sin. But when He went down into the waters of the Jordan, and was baptized, we find that the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. John would relate that God told him: “…Upon whom you will see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon Him, the same is He which baptises with the Holy Spirit.” (Jn. 1:33) Thus, Jesus is thus declared to be the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Christ and Messiah, the “Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world.” (v.29) The day of His baptism was the day of the embracing of His mission, His ministry. And He knew what that meant…a CROSS. Was the Lord Jesus ever deterred, or turned aside from fulfilling this mission? No.
Immediately after His baptism, the Spirit of God leads Him into the wilderness…and there He will face His enemy and ours, the devil. The first attack came when there was real physical need, hunger. It was aimed at seeking to get Jesus to act independently of His Father, not trusting Him to provide for His needs. (Luke 4:4) The second attack came in the form of a “short cut,” a more “convenient way” to accomplish His mission, but one which involved exchanging the rule of His Father for that of the enemy. Thirdly, the enemy sought to get Christ to “project Himself” in the eyes of the world, by some miraculous act, independently of the Father. This He would refuse to do, declaring: “…You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” (v.12) Satan would always be seeking to deter the Lord Jesus from remaining submitted to His Father, living utterly dependent upon Him. But Christ would NOT yield, even if it meant “apparently” to advance His cause and mission. His ultimate objective, and means by which He would reach that objective, would be His most cherished fellowship with His Father. This He would not sacrifice for anything , or any one.
Shortly after the Lord Jesus returned from his confrontation with the devil in the wilderness, He stands up in the Synagogue in Nazareth, and reads from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord IS upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel…” (Luke 4:18) Here is the undeterred Christ, anointed, fulfilling His mission, according to His Father’s ways, in His time, for His glory.
Dear Father, the Lord Jesus is our example and our enablement by the Spirit. He was never deterred, or turned aside, from His loyalty and devotion to You. He lived a life of perfect faith, relying wholly upon the Holy Spirit for everything. And He is in our hearts…by this same Spirit. Enable us to see clearly that we are called to follow in Christ’s steps, and to know the victory that is ours in Him by the Spirit. Grant us that quiet, determined resolve, to follow Him with singular devotion, trusting Him fully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.