No. 110
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online

Getting to know God together.


We used to have lots of pigeons and doves at our place.
There was one I particularly liked. It had a fan tail, and it was pure white.
How lovely those birds looked at night roosting in our camphor laurel trees. We have outside spot lights so you can see the bushes and trees well in the dark.
Those white doves were so gentle and peaceful looking. We don’t have them now, a neighbour found them a bit of a nuisance in his sheds. They wanted to roost in them sometimes, and they can make quite a mess by morning!

The Bible tells us of a wonderful time when Jesus first began to make Himself known to the world. He was born in Bethlehem, and had gone to be in Egypt until He was small child. When He came back to Israel, Jesus lived just like everyone else, quietly going about life. But of course there was one difference, Jesus Christ was perfect. He never sinned, ever, even as a little child. Then His time to be revealed for Who He was came. And this is what happened:

A man called John the Baptist was down at the river Jordan putting people under the water as a religious act,  in obedience to the Lord God. Do you know what this is called? It is called water baptism. John had on camel’s hair clothes, with an animal skin around his waist. He was rather a strange fellow, but very holy and filled with God’s Spirit. John ate wild honey from the bees, and insects called locusts.

As he was baptising people, John lifted up his eyes, and Jesus was coming down to the river. John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” Now no one could have told John who Jesus was except the Holy Spirit of God Himself. For John was truly a godly servant of the Lord. Jesus came to be baptised by John, but John felt that Jesus should be baptising HIM! What happened next was very beautiful, and something that John would surely never forget.

John had been preaching amazing words. He said, “There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet (catch) of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.” He said also, “I indeed have baptised you with water: but he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost (Spirit).” Then Jesus came, and was baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan’s water. Well, it was no ordinary baptism, that’s for sure! When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus like a glorious dove. The Bible does not say that the dove was white, but I imagine it must have been, for white stands for purity. As the Holy Spirit as a dove came down upon Jesus our Lord, a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It was the Heavenly Father speaking out in honour of the Lamb of God, His Son, Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist was very blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful event. It must have been a thrilling time. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour are baptised in water today. They have always been since the early Christian Church began, nearly two thousand years ago. I have been baptised in water, a long time ago now. If you are trusting in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, then one day you will want to be baptised. It is really all about showing that the one who goes down in the water has been “buried” to the old sinful life, and has risen to new life in Jesus. Going down shows you have had done with the old rebellious life, and rising from the water means you are living in a new way with Jesus. Of course Jesus didn’t need to turn from a sinful life when He was baptised, He was simply showing His obedience to the Heavenly Father for all to witness. He said:
“...for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” (Matthew 3:15).

Read all about Jesus and the Holy Spirit dove in Matthew 3:13-17.

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