Jesus is God. When He appeared among us, fully God and yet also fully man, He came with the experience of having been God for all eternity. He had created all of the angels in heaven, all of the earth, all of the stars, and all the galaxies as we know them and have come to discover more frequently, all moving to the mathematical formula designed by Jesus, the Genius Creator, the Mathematician who hurled the stars and planets into motion.

He already knew which fallen angels would attack Him with sly temptations after the bold actions He had undertaken in establishing His public ministry alongside John the Baptizer, open to all.

John was baptizing in the wilderness of Judea, preaching of repentance, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. John and Jesus, both of miraculous births, first John and then Jesus, were related.

Matthew 3:2-6 tells us that John preached: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is He who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'” In the spirit of Elijah and dressed likewise, John drew hordes of people who realized their need for repentance and a new start.

To repent means to go the opposite direction, to turn from pursuing one thing to pursuing another — the action of having changed our minds, turning from sin and toward God. We recognize our sin and guilt, and we go from pursuing sin toward pursuing God instead.

To repent means to go the opposite direction, the action of having changed our minds, turning from sin and toward God. We recognize our sin and guilt, and we go from pursuing sin toward pursuing God instead. Click To Tweet

Multitudes went from pursuing sin and stepped toward pursuing God instead.

As the prophet Elijah had done, “John wore a garment made of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Matthew 3:4-6 ESV).

But then, Pharisees and Sadducees, hypocrites, began arriving, seeking baptism, wanting to get their ideas implanted here. But John the Baptist knew these people, for his father was the High Priest. According to the entire tradition of the church, Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was the High Priest who entered the temple in Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement in September. (Source)

When John saw the many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, John said to them:

7b ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.'” (Matthew 3:7b-9 ESV).

John knew these people would not exhibit the fruit of true repentance, for they were seeking baptism as a show to the masses, and so John foretold of Messiah to the Pharisees and Sadducees being baptized:

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12 ESV).

In essence, with that statement, John proclaimed the arrival of Messiah. And then, John looked up soon afterward, and He saw Jesus, whom he had known would be coming soon. Messiah had arrived.

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ 15 But Jesus answered him, Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.‘” (Matthew 13:13-15 ESV)

Jesus is Baptized by John

John baptizes Jesus, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove, coming to rest on Him (no royalty)

Then John consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 13:16-17 ESV). A Trinitarian union here of Jesus, The Spirit, God the Father.

For all who were in attendance at that time, this would have been a pinnacle of their faith experience so far. To hear God speak, to see the Messiah humble Himself so as to walk with the common people.

Jesus had just changed everything. The Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.

Jesus’ baptism inaugurated His ministry and fulfilled God’s saving activity prophesied throughout the OT, culminating with His death on the cross (John 1:31-34). In so doing, Jesus also endorsed John’s ministry and message and linked His mission to John’s. Although He needed no repentance or cleansing, Jesus identifies with the sinful people He came to save through His substitutionary life, death, and resurrection (2 Cor. 5:21).” (ESV Study Bible note on Matthew 3:15).

Jesus is Tempted by the Devil

Matt. 1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’” 

But He answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command His angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, Jesus withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles

16 the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt.4:17)

These actions opened the doors to the Gentiles for this was a region with a mixed population. He called the masses to Himself, preaching a message of repentance and proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them” (Matthew 4:18-21 ESV).

The first necessary actions were for Jesus the Messiah to Advance the Messianic Kingdom.

He did so by:

  1. Triumphing over the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). (Check)
  2. Proclaiming the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:12-17). (Check)
  3. Calling disciples to follow Him (Matthew 4:18-22). (Check)

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