Jesus lived with his mother Mary and his adoptive father Joseph and he grew to be a good man. He had a good reputation with everyone and he increased in wisdom. Above all else, he desired that God’s will be accomplished. He obeyed his parents and God’s command in everything he did. And he studied God’s word to know what God’s will was.
But Jesus also saw that God’s will was not being accomplished on earth. He saw God’s people disobeying God in important areas. And he saw that God had made many promises that were not yet fulfilled—God’s spirit had not yet descended upon his people to cause them to do His will; a righteous king had not been chosen to lead his people and to bring justice; God’s people still suffered in need. God’s will was not accomplished. And Jesus determined to do all he could to change that.
John the Baptist was a powerful man of God. He lived in the wilderness at the Jordan River, eating wild honey and locusts. He wore rough clothing and preached. Perhaps at first he preached to the twigs and flowing river, but soon he had many people listening to him. He told them to repent, for God’s promises were going to be fulfilled. “God is going to quickly judge his people—get ready for it! You are all doing wicked deeds—change your ways and God will forgive you!”
Those who committed themselves to repent John brought to the
Jordan river and led them
across it. He was reenacting the
crossing of the Jordan and
of the Red Sea long ago. If they were going to repent, they needed to
be swallowed by the destructive water and be made alive again by God. In this way, God was making a new people, a
new generation that would be obedient to him.
Jesus came to John in order to be led across the
. John saw Jesus and said, “You don’t need to be
drenched by water. You are already
righteous.” Jesus replied, “We must do
it in order to accomplish God’s will.”
So John led Jesus across the Jordan and caused him to be
drenched by water, as a repentant one of God’s new people. Jordan
Just as Jesus was baptized, a revelation from the spirit world came upon him. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove, and filled Jesus. And the voice of God came from heaven, saying to Jesus, “You are my son, whom I love, the king of my people. I am pleased with you.” No one heard this but Jesus and John and the powers of the spirit world. They all knew that Jesus was selected by God to lead God’s new people.
Immediately after this, Jesus left the
and the Spirit lead him into the wilderness.
While Jesus had water in the wilderness, there was no food, so Jesus
fasted for forty days, relying on God for his needs. After many days of waiting before God, Jesus
became very hungry. At this point, Satan
visited Jesus, in order to test him and to get him to disobey God and so become
disqualified from being God’s king.
Satan told Jesus, “If you’re hungry, why don’t you turn these stones
into bread? You’re the Son of God, the
king of God’s people—surly you can do that if you want. Why go hungry? God certainly wouldn’t want you to be hungry,
would he?” Jesus was weak and could only
respond with Scripture he had memorized.
He weakly but firmly replied, “Scripture says, ‘Man cannot live by bread
alone but by every word which comes from God.’”
Satan was determined to cause Jesus to disobey God, so he said, “So you are the king of God’s people. But who is going to acknowledge you? Certainly no one will pay attention to you. Let me help you.” Satan transported Jesus to the very top of the temple in
. “Here you go.
If you throw yourself off of the temple, you won’t be hurt—aren’t you
the Son of God? The Scripture says, ‘He
will command his angels to keep your foot from being harmed by a stone.’ So throw yourself down, the angels will
assist you and all of Jerusalem
will acknowledge you as having come from God.”
Jesus replied, weakly, “Scripture says, ‘Do not test the Lord your
Satan was running out of ideas. So he said to Jesus, “Here, let me show you something.” And he showed Jesus all of the great nations of the world—the civilizations of
China, the Aztecs, the Huns
and powerful .
“Do you want to rule all of these powers?
Look, I’m in charge of them all.
They gave me their authority when they rebelled against God and God handed
them over to Death. Aren’t I in charge
of death? And when they worshipped their
gods instead of just acknowledging their authority, they were placed under my
judgement. Do you want to rule over them? Look, I can give them all to
you. They are all yours—just bow before
me and I’ll give them to you.” Jesus
replied with strength, “Scripture says, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God
alone and serve him only.’ Satan, get lost!” And Satan left Jesus until a better
time. God, meanwhile, sent angels to
feed Jesus after his ordeal. Rome
After Jesus gained his strength back, he began to visit synagogues in
Galilee. Every time he visited a synagogue, he was
given an opportunity to tell news or to say something of significance. Jesus stood in front of each synagogue and
proclaimed, “God’s government is coming!
Get ready for God’ revolution.
Repent from your sins. Obey God. And be faithful to God’s victory that is
From Luke 3-4, Matthew 3-4 and Mark 1