Episode:Jesus Goes Public—Precursor and Prelude (Part 4)
Extolling Jesus, John proclaimed: "For this cause came I out of the wilderness to preach repentance and to baptize with water, proclaiming that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And now comes one who shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit. And I beheld the divine spirit descending upon this man, and I heard the voice of God declare, 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'"
Opening thought: Said the Lord to Moses, "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."Exodus 19
Summary by Kermit
Commentary after Review
Post review discussion began with a consideration of righteousness. We are initiated into righteousness by the Divine Minister upon encircuitment in her Holy Spirit ministry by grace. Once initiated, we can be grown in righteousness through our freewill choices of goodness over evil. Righteousness is a becoming state achieving fullness of expression in the attainment of divinity. Initiated in wholeness of quality but minimal in quantity and put into our freewill hands, righteousness become a measure of our conformity with the cosmos (divine law). Always partial in comparison to divinity, righteousness ever vies with the potential disrupting influences of evil and sin in the creature’s quest for perfection. Were God a God of wrath and anger instead of love and mercy, his call to righteousness would arouse fear and dread. God’s mercy saves us in our perfectingness from the burden of being perfect now under the threat of divine retribution. How could one be expected to hunger and thirst for righteousness in the shadow of an angry and punitive God?
John’s call to righteousness and repentance, albeit focused on outer life issues provides a point of reciprocation for Jesus to reinforce in his call to an inner life of righteousness.
135:8.4 Meeting of Jesus and John (cont.)
Back to our story. Jesus surprises John, presenting himself to be subject to John’s baptism, explaining that it is as an example for his brothers and to show the people in attendance that his hour has come. We see Jesus on this and other occasions conforming to outer-life circumstances for the purposes of example. This runs the risk of enabling serious misunderstanding of his actions. Only with the 5th ER are we given the additional perspective of the modeling motive of Jesus, albeit with the additional risk of questioning his sincerity of action. We are encouraged to reflect on these challenges to our understanding of the Master’s sayings and doings and avoid seeking their quick and convenient resolution. Allow revelation to work in you by upgrading your cosmic concept frames.
Upon the baptism, we are reminded that this event marks the profound change in Jesus’ bestowal life. His Thought Adjuster has departed returning momentarily as a divine apparition speaking words of confirmation. The Son of Man becomes the Son of God. We will address more fully the intriguing details of this stupendous event in the following paper of this arc.
Jesus’ unceremonious silent departure for his forty days of solitude, especially in light of John’s declaration of certainty in Jesus as the deliverer and disclosure of Gabriel’s appearance to Mary before Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of John’s increasing confusion and uncertainty of his role as herald of the kingdom going forward.
135:9 Forty Days of Preaching
John astonished his disciples with his telling of the Gabriel visit to Mary. Notwithstanding the new and certain tones of proclamation concerning the coming kingdom and expected Messiah, John was increasingly stressed during these forty days of Jesus' absence. Rumors spread and doubts arose as people flocked to John’s camp to gaze upon the reputed Messiah only to find him missing. Leaders from Jerusalem also came querying John as to his identity and the purpose of his doings, to which he replied his faith declaration that while he baptized with water, one who has been among us will return to baptize with the Holy Spirit. Amidst the many questions and various ideas of the Messiah, John held to a minority opinion that the kingdom about to be established was a spiritual one, but beyond that he was unclear as to any further specifics. Notwithstanding their differences in appearance and style, John’s foundation of righteousness is carried over in Jesus’ ministry as evidenced by the Master’s many references to the kingdom believers’ hunger and thirst for righteousness. As John’s confusion continues to mount he still maintains a solid reliance on the subordination to God’s will as he forbade his followers to go in search Jesus, trusting in God’s direction.
Even upon Jesus’ return to a rousing welcoming declaration by John as the Son of God, the deliverer, Jesus merely bade them return to eating. The following morning Jesus unceremoniously left for Galilee, leaving John with no specific directions. Saying upon departure: “My Father will guide you now and in the future as he has in the past.” With such scant direction and affirmation from Jesus, John has to be deflated.
135:10 John Journeys South
With Jesus going north to Galilee, John is led to retrace his steps and go south back to the Bethany ford of the Jordan. In his deepening sadness, John’s preaching contains more mercy for the common folk, and increasing denunciation of the corrupt political and religious leaders. It just such a denunciation of Herod Antipas’ domestic affairs that led Herod to arrest and imprison John a little over three months from the time Jesus and he separated for the final time in the flesh.