Lessons from the Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry
We should understand that God has a perfect time to begin everything.
Let us look at Jesus’ life to understand this. The purpose of Jesus’ birth was announced even before He was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20,21; Luke 1:26—38). It was further confirmed by angels to shepherds when Jesus was born (Luke 2:10,11). Later it was confirmed by Simeon and Anna when Jesus was presented at the temple (Luke 2:29—32, 38).
In spite of being prepared like this Jesus began His public ministry only at the age of thirty. He waited for God’s perfect time to begin. During this waiting period, God arranged the other circumstances that were needed for Jesus to begin His ministry. Thus John the Baptist came preparing the way for Jesus. Then it was time for Jesus to begin His work.
So to begin our work on earth, let it be anything, let us seek God’s perfect time.
We should understand that God has a manner in which He begins everything.
God sent John the Baptist ahead of Jesus. He was the one who prepared the way for Jesus. He prepared the hearts of the people to receive the person and message of Jesus by preaching a baptism of repentance. And then Jesus came to be baptized by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. This was God’s chosen manner to present Jesus to the world. A forerunner had gone before; preparing the way for the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!“
God therefore has a plan as to in what manner His work should be done on earth. It differs from individual to individual, and from organization to organization, and from work to work. It is therefore our responsibility to seek God’s choice of manner in which He wants to do a particular work. When that is made clear we can begin the work in that fashion and then it will bring glory to God.
So to begin our work on earth, let it be anything, let us seek God’s choice of manner in which our work is to begin.
We should understand that God gives His approval when He begins any work on earth.
Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. During this act, God the Father proclaimed His approval of Jesus. He said that this was His Son whom He loved and that He was well pleased with Him. It was on earth that Jesus was beginning His ministry. But the approval had to come from heaven.
This is a big lesson. We often seek approval from men. For sure, many times it is needed. But far more important is to get the approval from God. Only then can the work proceed in spite of opposition. It was only because Paul had divine approval to his work could he say in the midst of his persecution thus: “I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven.”1 He could surely say this because he knew that he was commissioned by God for the work and that he had God’s approval. Without this divine approval we will turn back during difficult times.
So to begin our work on earth, let it be anything, let us be sure to have God’s approval.
We should understand that it is the Spirit of God’s leading that we are to follow when we begin our work.
Jesus, even though the Son of God, began His ministry on earth only after the Spirit of God descended on Him. We also find that He was immediately led by the Spirit of God into the desert to be tempted by the devil. This leading would appear to be a strange beginning to us. We might never expect that the Spirit of God would lead Jesus to be tempted by the devil. But it is recorded in the Bible to tell us that it was the Spirit’s leading. (Later, in the Book of Acts too, we find that the Church was inaugurated through a powerful move of the Spirit of God on the day of Pentecost.2)
So it is the privilege of every Christian to seek the fullness of God’s Spirit in his life. It would make a huge world of difference if he would start his work with the fullness of the Spirit of God. With it, he would move fast like a sailboat on the lake with wind filling its sails. Without it he will be working in his own strength as when the sails are down. He would not get much far.
So to begin our work on earth, let it be anything, let us follow the Spirit’s leading, for it is He who inaugurates our work!
Let us begin everything with God.
Let us tune ourselves to God’s timing.
Let us know God’s manner of doing something.
Let us be sure of God’s approval on our work.
Let us follow the leading of the Spirit of God.