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May 24, 2020 12:01 am
Why did Jesus need to be baptized and tempted in the wilderness? Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of Mark to examine the crucial significance of these events for our redemption.
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Today on the Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind. Christ is compelled by the Holy Spirit into this desolate place that is filled with the wild beasts once baptized Jesus's ministry is inaugurated, but before it goes public, he has to undergo the ordeal, the crucible of the test. Why did Jesus have to be baptized mightily have to be tempted in the wilderness if he only needed to die for his sins could be just come to earth as an adult died on the cross and return to heaven today on Renewing Your Mind. Dr. RC scroll show us that Jesus didn't just die for our sins, he lived for us in reading from Mark chapter 1 verses nine through 13 it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan and immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting in the spirit descending upon him like a dove, then a voice came from heaven, you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.
Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness and he was there in the wilderness 40 days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts and the angels ministered to him word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God place beside last Sunday I did a little exercise with you where I asked you to use your imagination. Pretending that you were huddled in the confines of the catacombs beneath the city of Rome, listening for the first time the first edition of the gospel according to St. Mark, I'm not going to ask for that kind of imaginative exercise.
Every Sunday, but I'm going to do it again this morning and asked that this time instead of imagining yourself in the catacombs that you would imagine that you are outside of the city of Jerusalem and you are present on the banks of the Jordan River and you are surrounded by such a huge throng of people a multitude of people pushing and shoving everybody trying to get a glimpse of this one who was known as the baptizer, this one for moment we are told all of Jerusalem came out to be baptized by John and you have joined that throng and you are waiting your turn to be baptized. You were observers there last week and you heard John give the charge to those who were gathered that they should make straight the pathway of the Lord and he mentioned that there was one coming after him, who was before him, and whose sandals. He was not worthy to loose but today, as you wait your turn to be baptized in the Jordan River.
You see John divert his attention from whoever it is he's baptizing in the river and he looks out into this throng of all of this mass of people and he sees one person approach whose very presence seems to fill the whole outdoors and when John sees him begins the singing, the Agnus Day and he said, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and he fulfills his vocation by pointing the multitudes to the Messiah as he approaches you turn and you see this man never seen before. His name is Jesus and he comes forward to John and he says to John, I want you to baptize me. John says oh I can't do that hold everybody that this is a baptism of repentance from sin and I just announced you is the link above guffawed the lamb without blemish, who takes away the sin of the world. If I baptize you I ruin everything that I think surely Jesus, let me help you with your theology here for a second you should be baptizing me I shouldn't be baptizing it so that immediately raises the question does not, why would Jesus, who is sin less submit himself to a right instituted to cleanse sinners from their sin. While I think we get a hint of the why this is taking place when, in one of the other gospel accounts of it. Jesus says to John when John says you should be baptizing me and not that I should be baptizing you and Jesus speak somewhat cryptically to John he trumps John, this is were he says I'm the theologian around here.
You may not understand it.
I'm not only that, the Lamb of God, but I'm also the word of God incarnate, and that I think I have a better understanding of my vocation that even you do, John a didn't say all of those things at least that we know of.
Rather, he just simply cut to the chase by saying to John, suffer it now. Let it be.
I don't have time for theological lecture right now you keeping this vast multitude of people from St. Andrews waiting for their turn to be baptized and searches suffered now. Trust me on this because it must needs be to fulfill all righteousness. So Jesus himself explains to John why it's necessary for Jesus to submit to this baptism and the point is simple that as the Messiah Jesus work in his life as well.
As his death is vicarious. It is substitutionary. He represents what Paul will describe later as the new Adam or the second Adam and just as the first Adam represented the whole human race and with his sin the whole of humanity was plunged into corruption and into death, so the new Adam by his obedience redeems his people for eternity, but in order for Jesus to qualify as our Redeemer. It is not enough for him simply to go to the cross and be crucified know you ask a six-year-old child. What did Jesus do for you and that six-year-old child. They been the Sunday school will answer Jesus died on the cross for my sins.
That's true but that's only half of the matter.
If all it would take to redeem us is to have a substitute bear the punishment that belongs to us.
Then Jesus didn't have to be born to Mary he could come down from heaven on a parachute as a man gone straight to Golgotha on the cross take the curse leave again and were all fixed. No, because it is not enough that our sins are paid for all that would do would be to take us back to square one where we'd still have absolutely no positive righteousness to bring before God, but our Redeemer doesn't have to just die. He has to live he has to live a life of perfect obedience which righteousness that he manifests is then transferred to all who put their trust in him just as my sin is transferred to him on the cross when I put my trust in him.
His righteousness is transmitted and transferred to my account in the sight of God, so that when I stand before God on the Judgment Day. God is going to see Jesus his righteousness, which will be my cover. That's what the gospel is joined and understand all that. So Jesus is just suffered. Now because I have to do this because my task as Messiah is to submit myself to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, to obey every dimension in full of the law, and that every requirement that God gives to his people. I have to obey. So even though I am not a sinner. I am identifying with you John and the rest of your simple people to fulfill all righteousness. And so, the son of God goes down into the water and John dutifully baptizes him, but the baptism of Jesus is a Trinitarian event.
It is the father who sends him into the water. It is the father who sends him into the world.
This is the father's son who was being baptized and it is the second person of the Trinity who is united to the humanity of Jesus that is now submitting to baptism. And now here comes the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit who descends upon Jesus at his baptism wise. That doesn't mean that now Jesus finally gets his deity that he was only humanity at birth and it's only at age 30 that he becomes God incarnate, because now the Holy Ghost comes no the logos was the logos in the incarnation Jesus has a divine nature.
From the moment of his conception all the way till now and onto eternity. So what's the significance of the Holy Spirit coming. It is the Holy Spirit anointing the human nature of Jesus and we tend to think that the miracles that Jesus performed. He performed in his divine nature.
No he performed in his human nature through the power of the Holy Spirit that was given to him at his baptism. Here is where God is empowering Jesus to fulfill the mission that he has. So you have the sun you have the Holy Ghost.
Now the father again because on only three occasions that are recorded in the New Testament God the father is heard to speak audibly and this is the first one we read in the text that a voice came from heaven, you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased not remember if we look at the whole account of the baptism of Jesus looking at all of the Gospels and their record combined. As I've already mentioned, we've had John the Baptist testimony this is the one who comes after me who is before me. I must decrease. He must increase either one.
I count thy shoes and someone is the Lamb of God added to the testimony of John is your watching this. You hear the testimony of God the father you see the heavens open. You see the Holy Spirit visibly descending you watch the third person of the Trinity anoint Jesus then you hear the first person of the Trinity speaking to Jesus saying you are my son, in whom I am well pleased. Now that's crucial to understand what follows immediately because no sooner is Jesus anointed for his mission. But the Holy Spirit who descends upon him does something dramatic in verse 12 immediately. Straightway the spirit drove him into the wilderness see that wilderness motive again that we talked about last week that the Holy Ghost doesn't whisper in Jesus ear and says I want you to go over there to the Judean wilderness, the force of this passage is that Christ is compelled by the Holy Spirit, driven urgently into this desolate godforsaken place that is filled with the wild beasts once baptized Jesus's ministry is inaugurated, but before it goes public, he has to undergo the ordeal, the crucible of the test. The second Adam, just like the first Adam is put in the place of testing where he's exposed to the assault of Satan. We look at this in John's Gospel, I reminded you then of the great differences between the circumstances of the temptation of Adam and Eve and the temptation of Jesus. The circumstances for Adam and Eve's temptation when the serpent came into Eden was that they were in the midst of a lush garden where they had every imaginable food at their disposal, their bellies were filled. They were enjoying anime and companionship. A woman and a man together without sin in any way marring or disfiguring their interpersonal relationship. The fellowship that they had and it was in that context that Satan came and put the temptation to the first Adam and Eve. Now the second Adam comes in the circumstances of his test is that it takes place not in a paradise garden but in this desolate wilderness and he's solitary he is absolutely alone with no human companionship or fellowship, and not only that his test takes place in the middle of the fast where he goes for 30 days without anything to eat. He has a human nature, remember and that human nature now is ravaged by hunger and it's only after he's in this supremely weakened lonely condition, but the prince of hell comes to him. And here's where the dissimilarity ends between Jesus and Adam and the similarity begins because beloved the point of the test was exactly the same when Satan came to Adam and Eve became the question.
Remember, what was a question half God set the God say that if you eat of this tree you will surely die while I'm telling you, you won't die but your eyes will be open. You will be like God, knowing good and evil that was the temptation and Eve one fourth and Adam with her member so the issue in the Garden of Eden that was presented before God's first human creatures was are you going to believe and obey my work. Fast forward now to the Judean wilderness, where Satan comes now to Jesus in his weakness and his loneliness and he doesn't come to him and say I want to see how much power you have turned the stones into bread. What does he say if you are the son of God turn the stones in the bread them, and this is no place for the son of God can understand how the son of God to suffer such humiliation. Such deprivation. Such hunger, such loneliness to the son of God to be a palace. If you're the son of God, really the son of God Jesus turn these stones into bread. Now I ask you what were the last words according to Scripture rang in Jesus years before he came to the wilderness with the words that came from the audible voice of God were God said you are my beloved son as what God said God's word said that Jesus your mice. Satan says are you well if you are in the stones and Jesus said sorry Mr. Satan Fred do not understand the word of God.
The Bible says sounds like some backwoods fundamentalist doesn't the Bible says man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word, every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Satan I know that there is no sin in having breakfast when you're hungry, but right now I'm committed to this fast and I can't break it and have breakfast. Fast break fast until my father sis and then the temptation to go well if you really the son of God jump off the temple is about, says he will give his angels charge over you, lest you dash your foot against a stone Jesus. He has tried. Bible says that the Bible also says that also not tempt the Lord your God. Don't put God to the test. I don't need to jump off the temple to know that God will take Herman, but what a wasted life.
You have Jesus you know why can't we be partners. I'll tell you what is on the prince of this world the power of the air.
All you have to do is bow down for me here in private. Nobody's watching you completely anonymous. You have to gravel in the dirt just one slight little genuflection and I will give you all the kingdoms of this world. The great offer Satan. I got a problem with your problem.
God says that were not have any other gods before him, and him only may we serve, and to see if I bow down to you that would be an act of idolatry and I would lose my father's house you see Satan you don't understand something, what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and loses his soul as hungry as I am as lonely as I am as humiliated as I am none of those things Satan are worth muscle. I don't think we have a fraction of understanding of stress that was imposed by how on Jesus and the situation when he withstood everything that Satan had the throw at him in his frustration, Satan leaves two things we need to note about that when he leaves. We are told that he departed from Jesus for a season. It wouldn't be the last time. In Jesus life or ministry that Satan would throw everything he had against the son of God, but the second one was this no sooner did Satan leave then the angel showed up and ministered unto him as the text says the Angels game, they came to him while he was with the wild beasts.
Again, remember that the people who are hearing this in the catacombs may be tomorrow will have to be with the wild beasts in the Coliseum for the sake of the gospel and when they were led in chains to the floor of the arena. They had these words my Savior has been here, done this and he said he will never leave me for saying because he's my champion, who has resisted all things stay the course and he's present with us this is an inspiring description of the difficulties the early church faced in the unwavering course. Jesus said in the wilderness encourages us as we live the Christian life in a hostile world where airing Dr. RC Sproles verse by verse series from the gospel of Mark every Sunday here on Renewing Your Mind. This is the second sermon in that series, which makes it a perfect time to take advantage of today's resource offer instructor Sproles expositional commentary from the gospel of Mark request. This 400 page book, it will become a great study companion for the rest of the series will gladly send you this hardbound volume would you give a donation of any amount to look at your ministries. You can do so when you go to Renewing Your Mind.org that's Renewing Your Mind.org. We also encourage you to download the free link in your app to your phone or tablet.
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Dr. scroll shows the details of how Jesus became a well-known rabbi in Israel, so we hope you'll join us next Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind