Bible Reading: John 1:19-32; Luke 4:18-21
Unlike the other gospel writers, John tells us nothing about the birth or early years of Jesus. He is not so concerned with the humanity of Jesus. His purpose is that we should grasp and understand His deity.
John the Baptist makes it doubly clear that he did not know Jesus before He came to be baptised [John 1:31,33]. That seems strange because their mothers were cousins, although it is true that their families lived in different parts of the country [see Luke 1:39]. Even when Jesus came to be baptised, John did not immediately recognise Him. It was only as the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in the form of a dove that John recognised him. Doesn’t it seem remarkable that Jesus did not stand out in the crowd before His baptism?
God revealed to John the Baptist that the One on whom he saw the Spirit descending as a dove would be the Messiah. In writing his gospel, John does not report the actual baptism of Jesus but rather focuses on its purpose, which was to reveal Jesus to Israel as her Messiah.
At His baptism Jesus was anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Isaiah prophesied that the Holy Spirit would anoint the Messiah [Isaiah 11:2; 42:1; 61:1-2a]. This happened at Jesus’ baptism. Immediately after His baptism the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil [Matthew 4:1-13]. The devil was afraid of the anointing on Jesus and tried to destroy Him. It is significant that immediately after Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit that there was a spiritual battle. Jesus overcame the devil in the wilderness and returned to Galilee filled with the Spirit’s power. On His return to Nazareth Jesus spoke in the synagogue and read the prophetic words about Him written in Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…” [Isaiah 61:1-2a] and then said, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day” [Luke 4:21 NLT]. Jesus’ hearers would have understood the implications of His words. He was saying that he is the Messiah!
Jesus was never without the Spirit in His childhood and growing years, but when the anointing of the Holy Spirit came upon Him at His baptism His ministry began. Before His baptism, apart from one time when he was twelve years old, there is silence. After His baptism come His teachings and amazing miracles, sign and wonders. It was the anointing of the Holy Spirit that made the difference. The apostle Peter says, “And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” [Acts 10:38 NLT].
Why was the anointing of the Holy Spirit so vital to the ministry of Jesus?
Read 1 John 2:27 – What does this verse tell us about believers and the anointing of the Holy Spirit? Why should this be important to us?
What were the effects of the anointing of the Holy Spirit on Jesus [Acts 10:38]