Friday, January 3, 2014

John 1:28 - 34: The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

The significance of John, placing the baptism at the beginning of his narrative, highlights the importance of this event. What is clear from the story is that Christ receives the Holy Spirit and is commissioned not by water but with the spirit. One element to note is this idea of ascending and descending. Here the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus so that he is elevated as the Messiah. What is made clear in the story is that ministry cannot begin without baptism. Therefor baptism is the universal call to service. 

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