Note: We do not know much about Jesus’ life growing up, so the first part is my musings about what might be going on right before Jesus shows up in the Judean wilderness to be baptized by John.
Jesus, waiting patiently, growing in stature and favor, maturing, preparing, working. Then one day, the time had come. Maybe Jesus was spending His normal daily time in prayer, reading the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue or just doing the labor of a carpenter when the Father spoke and said, "It is time." His second cousin John, the one filled with the Spirit since birth, had been baptizing in the Judean wilderness with a prophetic message of a repentance in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. Now Jesus makes a 86 mile walk from hill tops of Nazareth to the valley floor of the Jordon river and there He encounters John!
Have you ever been doing something and then the boss shows up? The real guy in charge, the one who is the expert, the OG, the boss and your immediate response is to step back and give him space, let him lead, speak, do whatever he needs. It is a sign of respect, appreciation, even love. But, he says no; I want you to continue doing what you are doing, I want to sit under your teaching, leadership … I want to learn from you. That is humbling, scary, and you resist, but he or she insists and so you say, okay.
John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. Matthew 3:14-15
I love that John saw something, knew something about Jesus, enough to stop him in his tracks. Enough to know that Jesus was different. I do not know if John fully understood in that moment that Jesus was the one who would truly take away the sins of the world. Maybe he had his doubts, but one thing was for sure … he was waiting for the sign.
I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:31–34
Can you imagine that moment when the heavens opened and the Spirit descended like a dove ... and John knew it was Him! That moment everything changed and John knew …
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
That is what happens in our lives when we realize the truth of who Jesus is … He is God, the Messiah, the Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Son of God, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. When that happens, in that moment - everything changes. I must decrease ... and He must increase.
Because He is preparing us for Greater Things …