The Messiah Goes Public

After his baptism the fact that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah became public knowledge. The privately held secret, believed by only a select few, was now a public offering, available for subscription to anyone who believed. You might expect a celebration, but instead the newly identified Son of God is sent on a mission to acquaint himself even more deeply with humanity. He is put in a position to endure everything human beings would endure. It was the Spirit who put this plan into motion, filling him, and then driving him into the wilderness for the purpose of undergoing an intense season of temptation. Similar to Job, God himself is unapologetically instrumental, but doesn’t bear responsibility for actually tempting. James 1:13 is clear, Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. Instead God gives Satan enough slack to reach Christ. Through this trial Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52), and in his ability to empathize with man. Going public required going away so that he could fully relate to the people he came to save.

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