The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

First thoughts on this week’s verses:

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Oops, somehow this one got posted as “private,” so you couldn’t see it till now. Sorry!

Like last week, Jesus is away from Galilee. That trip set up the conclusion of his public ministry; this one – years earlier – sets up its beginning.

baptism of Christ in the Jordan Jacob DeWit 1716 WGA.jpg Baptism of Christ in the Jordan; Jacob DeWit, 1716. [Click the image to see it larger at the Web Gallery of Art.]

Jesus is baptized. Then, he is tear-your-hair-crazy tempted [see Mark, below]. And he braves temptation unbowed – a flawless record that turns the ancient death-demand on its head: Here’s one who didn’t sin – what becomes of him?

The Voice – it speaks at his baptism. He’ll hear it next at the transfiguration (we read it just last Sunday): “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.” Is the Father providing confidence for the temptation? And (when heard again at the transfiguration), for the cross?There’s another baptism here, Peter suggests: the flood [see 2 Peter, below].

By New Testament times – in start contrast to the flood – Jesus himself has become the sufferer.

(There’s even a mysterious suggestion here that Jesus, perhaps during the grave-to-resurrection weekend, may have gone to those who died in the flood, giving them a second chance. It’s not a clear thing by any means. But it is a reminder that we know these stories only in part. There’s another side in Noah’s case – a hidden element of mercy – that has yet to be told. Are they all like that?)

Wonder what we’ll learn this week! Sounds promising!

What do you say we watch Jesus together and find out?


Written by Monte

February 28, 2006 at 1:58 pm

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