The Anointing Of The King
Well Pleasing To The Father
Scripture To Consider:
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan [river] to be baptized by Him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized by You, and You are coming to me?’ But Jesus answered and said to John, ‘Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’“
“Then Jesus when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting [landing] upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3.13-17
Something To Consider:
There is something strikingly majestic in the appearance of Jesus for the first time in this gospel of Matthew, as He steps upon the scene; yet something equally humble. He unexpectantly presents Himself before the great herald who has been proclaiming His coming and offers to submit to the baptism John is administering. Jesus’ kingly superiority is shown by the surprise and hesitation of John and by His own word of command, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
These are the first words from the lips of Jesus which Matthew records. They denote at once royal dignity and divine humility. Jesus stating, “Permit it to be so now…” is significant. John had hesitated to baptize Jesus, not that John did not know Jesus to be the Messiah, but because he saw in Him One of infinite moral superiority, which Jesus admits, but He bids John, just for the time, to yield to Him the inferior position, which Jesus voluntarily assumes.
Yet, why should Jesus be baptized? He has answered, “For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” That is, that the righteousness of God, which Jesus alone understands may be done in all its fullness. By Jesus’ submission to baptism, He set His seal of approval upon the work of John as indicated by Jesus stating, “…not of men but of God”. And as well Jesus validated the word of John that repentance and confession of sin are absolutely necessary for those who are to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Further, Jesus thus identified Himself with His people, not as Himself sinful, but as sympathizing with sinners in their hatred of sin, in their sorrow for its burden, and in their hope and expectation of relief. Then, again, as baptism is for those who are truly repentant, the beginning of a new life acceptable to God, so the baptism of Jesus was His entrance upon His public ministry.
And though He had no life of sin to leave behind in the waters of the Jordan River, there He did bring to an end the home life of Nazareth. There at His baptism He left behind the quiet peaceful years of preparation and did willingly accept as the righteous will of God, the storm and strain and sacrifice of the work which He had come to earth to accomplish.
Something Else To Consider:
The essential features of the incident, however, were those which immediately followed, the vision of the descending Spirit, and the voice from heaven. The former was a symbolic indication of the divine power which His ministry was to be accomplished in and through the anointing of the Spirit of God. The latter was an assurance that Jesus was the Messiah, the very Christ of God, the anointed King, and well pleasing to His Father in heaven. These were vitally related to His baptism.
He had then yielded Himself to His task. He was now prepared for His service, while dedicating Himself to His work. He is now consecrated to His career. And yet, we are not to suppose that He before had lacked the presence of the Spirit, nor that He now assumed any new relationship to the Father; but at this hour of His baptism there came the new and welcomed assurance of divine power.
The vision was of the Spirit of God descending as a dove, the symbol of gentleness and meekness, for the King was to be humble and lowly in spirit and in ministry. The voice of the Father was heard to say, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, declaring Jesus to be the Messiah, the Anointed One, the very Christ of God, anointed now as King of kings, and empowered by the Spirit of God, but not yet crowned.
This was the true anointing of the true King. As of old the chosen rulers of Israel were anointed with oil to suggest that the divine Spirit, thus symbolized, would grant them needed grace for the fulfillment of their tasks, so our Lord went forth from the scene of His baptism, anointed with the Holy Spirit, and fully equipped for His kingly ministry.
Thus, for the followers of Jesus Christ, it is true that, while they all are granted the abiding presence of the Spirit, nevertheless, when they yield themselves anew to the service of their Lord, they are also filled anew with the Holy Spirit to the service of their Lord. Therefore, as we are filled anew with Chrit’s Spirit, we too are empowered for our tasks and strengthened by a deeper assurance that we are indeed the sons and daughters of an Almighty God.
Something More To Consider:
The anointing of Jesus as King of the universe, and the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit upon Jesus for ministry is a living object lesson example of our personal need of God’s spiritual anointing to be upon our lives for true ministry to take place. Jesus will later declare in Luke 4.18-19; “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the LORD”.
Now the question to be asked of each of us today is what has the Holy Spirit of God anointed us to accomplish as it pertains to ministry? What spiritual gifts has the Holy Spirit anointed us with as true born-again believers of God’s grace, mercy, and His forgiveness of sins in and through repentance? What spiritual gifts has the Holy Spirit made available to us in and through Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on earth while remaining well pleasing to His heavenly Father?
The apostle Paul writing to the Roman believers in Romans chapter 12, gives us a seven-fold spiritual gift list which is as follows in alphabetical order: exhortation, giving, leadership, mercy, ministry or service, prophecy or the ability to preach the truth of the Word of God, and teaching or training others in the Word of God. And in 1st Corinthians chapter 12 Paul expands his list of spiritual gifts to further include: discernment of spirits, faith, healing, the word of knowledge, various tongues and the interpretation of tongues, the word of wisdom, and the working of miracles.
And if there is any ounce of human doubt as to whether we too have been anointed by God’s Holy Spirit with any of these above-mentioned spiritual gifts, John writing to fellow believers in 1st John 2.27, stated, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides [or dwells] in you”. John continued by also declaring, “But as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it [the truth] has taught you, you will abide in Him.” The truth being the Word of God, and Jesus being the Word, we are to abide in Jesus!
A Few Final Words:
Therefore, what is our personal answer to our earlier question, what has the Holy Spirit anointed you, anointed me, anointed us to accomplish in and through our lives here upon planet earth? I refer us all back to Romans 12 and 1st Corinthians 12 if we need confirmation or encouragement in understanding the will of God for our lives as it relates to this most important issue of spiritual gifts.
And yet, it is not for us to attempt to force our spiritual gift upon the church, but rather that we allow the Holy Spirit to nurture that gift and, in His time, His spiritual fruit in us will be brought to bear for His glory and not for ours!
The undeniable voice from heaven at the baptism and spiritual anointing of Jesus there in the Jordan River, declared emphatically to the entire world, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. As we study the life and ministry of Jesus, we cannot help but determine the biblical fact that Jesus was and remained well pleasing to His Father throughout His life of thirty-three years. How important is our being well pleasing to our heavenly Father after we have become so loved by God that we recognize that He gave His only well pleasing Son, Jesus, so that we too could become and remain well pleasing to our heavenly Father?
Paul also penned these eye-opening, heart-stimulating words in Ephesians 1-4-6; “Just as He [God the Father] has chosen us in Him [in Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him [God the Father] in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons [and daughters] by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us acceptable in the Beloved [Jesus]”.
Are we therefore, abiding in Jesus and remaining holy and without blame before Him? Are we enjoying all of the many spiritual benefits accompanying the spiritual adoption of our souls according to the good pleasure of God’s will? Are we honoring Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and our heavenly Father by becoming and remaining well pleasing to God our Father? Or do we struggle with sin of any kind at all? Do we fall short of our desire to be well pleasing to God our heavenly Father as was Jesus? If this is our case, we may require a fresh anointing of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives.
Jesus said, “You have not because you ask not! Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you”. All we need to do is to ask sincerely in order to receive that which we lack! Our remaining well pleasing to the Father is not accomplished by man’s might, man’s power, nor by man’s ingenuity, but by God’s Holy Spirit unleashed in our lives through His gracious anointing. What in the world are we waiting for?
What in the world could be of more value or of more importance, then our being spiritually empowered by God’s anointing of His Holy Spirit, to live holy and blameless lives before Him and the ever on-looking world? What in this decaying and corrupt world could be of more profit, or of more eternal benefit than our becoming and remaining well pleasing to our heavenly Father as was Jesus?
And yet, the bible is not advocating or mandating human perfection. The Word of God is not establishing a way and means of obtaining favor through human works, but rather a way and means of our becoming and remaining well pleasing to our Father in heaven by way of the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon our earthly lives!
Our Father in heaven, help us to understand more clearly the anointing of Jesus in His remaining a well pleasing example to all who desire to live godly in this earthly life. Teach us of the importance of our becoming and our remaining well pleasing to You, our heavenly Father. Anoint us with the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit of God. Enrich our earthly lives by giving us a desire to study to show ourselves approved unto You Father, fully equipped with our predestined spiritual gift you have graced us with in and through Jesus Christ our most well pleasing Lord and Savior. In Him Always, Amen!