Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
The 4th Doctrine of The Salvation Army states that, "we believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the divine and human natures are united; so that He is truly and properly God, and truly and properly man." Sometimes it's easy to focus on Jesus' miracles and downplay the fact that He was not only fully God, but He was also fully man. As we follow Jesus' life, practices, and teaching throughout the Gospels, we discover that He demonstrated His humanity, as well as His divinity. For example, the Apostle John declared, "The Word [Jesus] became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish," (Jn. 1: 14, MSG).
Most Christian denominations view Jesus' baptism as the beginning of His public ministry. Accounts of the event are recorded in the Gospels (i.e., Mt. 3:13; Mk. 1:9; Lk. 3:21-22; Jn. 1:29). Upon seeing Jesus waiting with the others waiting to be baptized, John the Baptist publicly witnessed to those assembled as he pointed to Christ and called out: “Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’ I knew nothing about who he was—only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God," (Jn. 1: 29-31). A close up of Jesus face-to-face with the Baptist, reveals His humble spirit: "Jesus... wanted John to baptize him. John objected, “I’m the one who needs to be baptized, not you!” But Jesus insisted. “Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.” So John did it." (Jn. 3: 13-15, MSG).
The accounts of Jesus' baptism all conclude with 2 important facts: as Jesus came up from the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a dove, and that God audibly spoke, announcing that Jesus was His (God's) Son and He (God) was very pleased with Jesus.
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer