Were you made to do what you are doing? Many have asked that question in their lives, and I hope this study gives a bit of clarity for you.
We find ourselves back in Matthew this week at the baptism of Jesus. As we return to the book, we are in the Jordan River. John the Baptist has been preaching and baptizing people in preparation for the coming of The Lord, and he just finished a conversation with the religious leaders of the day in which, we shall say, he was not politically correct. John was hesitant to baptize Jesus, but consents to Jesus’ wishes.
We open the text where Jesus comes up out of the water in Matthew 3:16-17. We read: “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ ” The first thing that we see is the Trinity. We see all three manifestations of God that are taught in Christian theology making their presence known. We see God the Father speaking, the Holy Spirit of God descending as a dove, and Jesus, the Son of God, standing in the midst of the Jordan River.
A tremendous point here that I think we should cover is the use of one small little word in verse 16. It is the word “he.” Matthew makes special mention here that Jesus saw the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. He builds this point because the Spirit came to rest on “him,” and God the Father said He was well pleased with His Son. This isn’t written as some abstract account, but it is written as a divine validation of Jesus’ ministry. It singles Jesus out from the ones in the crowd who were just baptized. It displays that Jesus was sanctioned by The Father and The Holy Spirit to do the work that He was about to begin. This is consistent throughout Matthew, Mark and Luke, but a bit different in John. John says that he saw this. He writes in John 1:32: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.” This shows us that it wasn’t merely a vision that Jesus later spoke about, but something that John saw with his own eyes. I believe this was God the Father confirming Jesus that He was on the right track. He was doing what He was supposed to do here in this life. He was about to change the world.
In recent days a great deal of strife has been stirred up. There are many that have stirred this up with intentions that are less than noble, and there are some who have been swayed because they simply don’t know any better. We must remember there are some who have never experienced the levels of human depravity that are so rampant in our country today. In either category, there is a considerable amount of unjustified hate for people who do noble professions. I ask this question to my brothers and sisters who carry guns in defense of innocent human life: Can you think of a time when God has validated your occupation? Do you remember a time when He saved your life? Do you remember a time when he preserved you? I’m not necessarily talking about something that was in the news, but something that could have gone terribly bad, but resolved quickly due to circumstances that were out of your control. I’m talking about the conversations at the end of your shift when you tell the story and wonder how that happened. Ask yourself if God was in that. Ask yourself, if he has worked for your physical preservation.
Ask yourself if you are doing what God has made you to do. If you are: Stay The Course. The highest calling possible in the course of human existence is to serve the God who created you in the capacity that he made you to serve. Think humbly before God and men and be kind, but be firm and resolute in what He has called you to do.
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Matthew 3:16b – “. . .He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him.”