After posting the Route 3:16 Old Testament journey, I prepared the map for the Route 3:16 New Testament journey, and thought I was on my way. Then, as life tends to do, it got in the way. With a video and game project (“Count On God”) to finish, preparations for publishing a book (“When A Family Starts”), a first Conference show to prepare…there just didn’t seem any time to get started. To make things worse, as the passing of time tends to do, it began to make a wonderful journey of encouragement and enlightenment seem as a chore to be dreaded.
Well finally, I have put one foot of the other and begun forward motion. Look out New Testament, here I come!
But wait! When I got to the first stop, Matthew 3:16, what I found there is so great, I just didn’t want to wait until the end of the journey to share it!
So, here it is. I pray this will bless your heart as much as it has blessed mine!
(Matthew 3:16) And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,
(This is where I could easily get myself in trouble with the establishment, but here goes anyway.)
In this passage of scripture we have positive proof that Jesus, the man, had the right to choose His destiny. The proof is demonstrated in John’s reaction as Jesus came to the Jordan river to be baptized. John was clearly working under the power of the Holy Spirit calling all to be baptized unto repentance, but then he immediately recognized that Jesus had no need of this baptism. Still, Jesus decided to receive it anyway.
Jesus had laid aside His Heavenly robes to come into the world in the humble form of a mere man. Yes, scripture shows that He had grown up knowing, without doubt, the will of His Father. At the same time, He had spent many years living among people and personally witnessing the imperfections wrought by the sin of Adam and continued in the very existence of mankind.
Then, He came to the water’s edge.
This event was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to simply exalt Himself. When John tried to step down from his position as the baptizer, Jesus could easily have received this high praise, and Baptized John. Had Jesus made this decision, He would still have been all man and all God, and no doubt He would still have eventually returned to His rightful place in Heaven.
What then would have been the big deal? Had Jesus simply received the praise John offered, and baptized him, Jesus would have made the conscious decision exalt Himself, refuse receiving the sin of mankind, and denied the Cross. Maybe nothing would have been lost for Him. All would have been lost for us.
This stop on the New Testament Route 3:16 so clearly expresses (as does all of scripture when carefully studied) the motivation of the true and living God is always His love for His creation! Matthew 3:16 strongly confirms the very idea shared in the words of the simple children’s song…”Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”.
I pray for you the peace of KNOWING God loves you, and realizing that He tells you so over and over and over again.
Thanks for beginning this little journey with me.