JESUS IDENTIFIED BY THE SPIRIT
"He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him
" (Matthew 3:16). The word, "lighting
," means to come, to appear, to come from another place, to publicly appear, to be manifested in approval.
Here on the banks of the historic Jordan, the Saviour assured: "It becometh us [Father, Son and Holy Spirit] to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15).
The pictorial suggestion is overwhelming.
- The baptism symbolized the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The descending dove prefigured the advent of the Comforter,
- The voice from Heaven bespoke the approval of the Father.
John the Baptist had said: "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). Now the Father Himself says: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).
JESUS ANOINTED OF THE SPIRIT
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me
" (Luke 4:18), Jesus explained as He began His public ministry.
As Jesus stood to read the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah, we cannot but believe He emphasized the personal pronouns. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me . . . he hath anointed me . . . he hath sent me
He was concerned about the poor, the broken-hearted, the captives, the blind, the bruised.
- He was the wealth of Heaven to the poor,
- He was the comfort of Heaven to the brokenhearted,
- He was the power of Heaven to the captives,
- He was the light of glory to the blind,
- He was the balm of Gilead to the bruised.
He is still all this and more.
- To make people rich, He became poor;
- To bring comfort to the broken-hearted, He suffered;
- To deliver the captives, He was led captive;
- To produce light for the blind, He was enshrouded with darkness;
- To heal the bruised, He was wounded and afflicted.
Jesus was anointed of the Spirit to "preach the acceptable year of the Lord
" (Luke 4:19). The word "acceptable
) means the approved or propitious time
. How appropriate was this statement at the beginning of our Lord's earthly ministry! The apostle Paul employed the same word with a prefix for emphasis: "Now is the accepted time
," he pleaded; "behold, now is the day of salvation
" (II Corinthians 6:2). There is no time more propitious than now.
When we remember that Jesus spake as never man spake, that His words were quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, we can well understand why "the eyes of all . . . were fastened on him
" (Luke 4:20). Jesus was anointed of the Holy Spirit.