Food for Friday

And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a dove, and It abode upon Him. John 1:32

All four Gospels tell the account of Jesus’ baptism and of the Spirit as a dove descending on Him when He came up out of the water. But only in John’s Gospel do we read that the Spirit remained (abode) on Him. Why would only John note this important fact? I believe it is because John portrays the Lord Jesus as the Son of God, and therefore it is important to link Him in all of His ministry with the work of the Holy Spirit, and with the heart of the Father. At no time during His ministry was He moving outside the harmony that exists in the Trinity. If we study the Old Testament, we will see that there is a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus seen in the consecration of the priests of God, and the Lord Jesus fulfills that picture in His baptism and in the descent of the Spirit upon Him.

When Moses consecrated Aaron as high priest, the procedure consisted of two important steps (Exodus 29:4-7). First, he washed Aaron and his sons before dressing them in the high priestly robes. Then, he anointed them with oil. We see these same two steps being followed in John 1, when it came to the start of the ministry of the Lord Jesus, who is our High Priest. First, Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan. Then, God anointed him – not with oil, which was a type of the Holy Spirit – but with the form of a dove. So, as we explore the ministry of the Lord Jesus, from His first drawing of disciples to Himself to His return to Heaven after His crucifixion and resurrection, we see that the Holy Spirit was always upon Him. We can’t deny this, because we have the witness of John the Baptist. And we have the promise of the Lord Jesus that the Holy Spirit will also abide with us as well.

We have no difficulty accepting that the Holy Spirit was always with the Lord Jesus. His miracles, His words, His great sacrifice of Himself for us, His glorious resurrection, all serve to remind us that the Holy Spirit was always His Companion. But it is a little more difficult to grasp the reality of the Holy Spirit abiding with us. We don’t always act like it, do we? But we need to remember that God has consecrated us just as He did the Lord Jesus. First, He washed us from our sins in Jesus blood. And He anointed us with the Holy Spirit. Just as the proof of the Lord Jesus being anointed was His ministry, so our proof of being anointed is our ministry. We need to display to the world around us that we are priests unto our God.

We have a perfect Example in the Lord Jesus of a life lived under the direction of the Holy Spirit. We can never match that Example, for sure, but we can, and should, try. -Jim MacIntosh

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