(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
6. THE FIRST YEAR OF CHRIST’S MINISTRY
(1) The Baptism Of Jesus
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
“Jesus was baptized too.” – Luke in his effort to portray the humanity of Jesus, records that Jesus was baptized in the same way as all the other people that had come to John repenting of their sins. Jesus, however, did not have any sins to confess or to repent of, His purpose of baptism was to identify with humanity; another of Luke’s portrayals is his comment “as he was praying” – no doubt the manifestation of all other people who were baptized . Another reason for Jesus’ baptism was a sign to John that He, Jesus, was the promised Messiah . It should also be noted that in the case of Jesus’ baptism, all three Persons of the Godhead were involved – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit – in Mark’s account it states: “As Jesus was coming up out of the water….the Spirit descending on him….And a voice came from heaven…”. “You are my Son, whom I love…” – God His Father places His seal of approval on the baptism of His Son Jesus by adding, “with you I am well pleased.”, and there are two other times that this statement from heaven was made in reference to Jesus: on the Mount of Transfiguration and in the Temple during Jesus’ final week of His earthly ministry . Jesus, having now made His appearance on the scene, was ready to commence His earthly ministry; He had identified with all those who had expressed a public commitment to their faith, indicating that such was a requirement for anyone desiring to become His disciple.
(2) The Three Temptations Of Jesus
Jesus’ temptations occurred immediately after the testimony to His deity by John the Baptist and God His Father. Both Matthew and Luke state that the Holy Spirit “led”Him into the desert, while Mark gives the thought that Jesus was “driven or compelled” to go into the desert – the thought is that Jesus was encouraged in the will of God His Father, who deemed it necessary for Him to enter this period of testing. Satan was attempting to corrupt the Son of God, since by nature he is committed to usurp God’s place, to oppose God’s will, and to corrupt all that is holy; but unlike sinful mankind, Jesus has no temptation from within, thus Satan’s attempt here was absolutely impossible to succeed . The temptations of Jesus followed Satan’s established pattern of temptation first recorded in the Garden of Eden, and followed throughout Scriptures and outlined in 1 John 2:16 as: the lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes; and the pride of life .
1. “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” – bread may have been necessary to satisfy His physical hunger, but for Jesus to accomplish His Father’s will, affirmed that the Word of God was His priority – “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – a quotation from Deut. 8:3
2. “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, ….” – Satan is here suggesting to Jesus that He should jump off the “pinnacle” of the Temple and perform a miracle to preserve Himself from injury or certain death and gain the recognition of the people – Satan actually quoting Scripture, but omitting the real promise of God – “If you make the Most High your dwelling….he will….guard you in all your ways” – Jesus did not have to prove His deity by doing this so He quoted from Deut. 6:16
3. “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.” – the temptation to be King of Kings without going the route of the cross and to accept Satan’s offer would have made Jesus his slave – Jesus quotes from Deut. 6:13; 10:20
Because of His humanity Jesus could be tested by Satan, but because of His deity He could not be made to sin – God His Father allowed Jesus to be tempted as a man in order that He, Jesus, could become our faithful High Priest .
(3) The Witness Of John To The Sanhedrin Delegation Concerning Messiah
“He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.”
“I am not the Christ.” – “I am not Messiah”, was John’s response to the question from the Sanhedrin delegation sent to investigate the activities of this unauthorized religious teacher – John knew that he was not the Messiah for he knew who was the Messiah. “Then who are you” Elijah? The Prophet? “What do you say about yourself?” – give us a response to take back to those who sent us, was their request. The Jews knew that Elijah had not died and were expecting him to return; and the “Prophet” was no doubt a reference to Deut 18:14-22 where Moses speaks of a future Prophet to the people . John then proceeds to apply the words of Isaiah to his own ministry , whereupon, they question his reason for baptizing , and John’s reply to their question on his baptizing was another witness to The Messiah – Jesus – “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
“..among you stands one you do not know.” – they were all expecting Messiah, but unfortunately they did not recognize Him at His first advent, thus fulfilling the words of the prophets telling them of their regrettable state of affairs. “He is the one who comes after me”– John confesses that his mandate was only to prepare the way for Messiah who was to make His appearance after John’s ministry was complete.