At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:9-15

There is something of great significance in this story – three phases:

  1. Jesus spent the first thirty years of His life just being the Son; He lived in anonymity and obscurity in a Galilean village in northern Israel. He said and did nothing that was recorded except one incident recorded by Luke when He was twelve, giving us a clue to the bent of His life. At the end of those thirty years, on the eve of His public ministry, He received an audible verbal affirmation of His Father’s approval, and the visible descent of the third person of the Trinity upon Him. Both of these manifestations were assurances of God’s presence in a way a human being could understand.
  2. He was compelled into circumstances by the Holy Spirit that would test His humanity to the limit, both natural and supernatural. Trust in God is not established in ideal circumstances but in any circumstances. The awareness of God’s presence had to be cultivated in every possible human situation. There was no need for Jesus to withdraw to some ideal environment, or have everything in His life running smoothly to be aware of God. Feeling and awareness are not the same thing. Awareness has nothing to do with emotion. It has to do with conviction and response.
  3. Jesus’ announcement, “God is here,” was based on the absolute certainty of who God is, and on the experience and reassurance of God’s presence across the whole spectrum of human circumstances. He could pass on that good news to everyone around Him because He had experienced it for Himself. It was more than a doctrine. It was a conviction.

This awareness changes the whole flavour of our lives. We don’t have to change what we are doing. We need to be aware of in whose presence we are doing what we are doing; learning to do life in God. We need to cultivate that awareness as a process that will never come to an end. This one simple truth changes everything. “God is here!” Relax, rest, shalom. God is here!

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Luella Campbell

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