What if I truly believed His words were for me?
Well, I am going to try that, to listen to Jesus, His words as recorded in scripture. My favorite old well-worn Bible is a Red-Letter Edition. That means the words that Jesus spoke are in red. So this year, for Lent, I am going to consider the words of Jesus and how to apply them to my life.
As it is best to start at the beginning, the first red-letter words are from Matthew 3:15:
“Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”
Jesus was facing John, waist-deep in the Jordan river, surrounded by the crowd. John the Baptist preached to all of Judah and the people came, confessing their sins and being baptized as a sign of their repentance.
But Jesus did not need to confess or repent. He was the one man who had no sin, who was going in the right direction. John, discerning who Jesus was, said to Him, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
It was Jesus who should have baptized John, not the other way around. But no, Jesus told John this is what the Father wanted, this was the way to fulfill righteousness. And not just some righteousness, but ALL righteousness.
It is not clear exactly why Jesus had to be baptized at this point from the text, so we can only guess. Jesus is leading by example, as He does nothing of substance until He is baptized. We too need to be baptized, but He never asks us to do anything, He has not done first.
But I think Jesus is also saying that what He does is right. We can trust it, even when we don't understand it.
Another important point is humility. Jesus begins His ministry by allowing Himself to be cleansed, in public, by a mere man. Jesus is willing to be seen as the "lower man" in order to be obedient to His Father. In order to fulfill righteousness.
Isn't that the point of this? I need to trust Jesus has something important to say to me, each and every day. I need to believe His ways fulfill all righteousness. I need to have the humility to let another lead.
Let me be totally honest -- I so want to lead! All day today, I spoke over every client who called. I dominated every conversation with a co-worker, even my boss. I directed the conversation with my family at the dinner table. I am so not willing to be led by anyone. Even Jesus.
Please Beloved, change my heart on this! Let me to permit You to lead me even when I don't understand, when it doesn't seem right in my eyes. Your way is the way to permit all righteousness. My faith is so small! Please increase my faith.
Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
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See the other posts in this series:
Every word from His mouth - Matthew 4:2-3, 11
How Jesus began to preach - Matthew 4:17
They immediately left their nets - Matthew 4:18-25
If You are willing - Matthew 8:1-4
Only say the word and I will be healed - Matthew 8:5-13
I will follow You - Matthew 8:18-22
How can I prove this to you? - Matthew 9:1-8
Guess Who's Invited to Dinner? - Matthew 9:9-13
The Old and the New - Matthew 9:14-17
He had compassion on them - Matthew 9:18-38
On the Third Day - John 2:1-11
What sign can You show us? - John 2:13-25
Nicodemus came by night - John 3:1-8
Rescue me - John 3:9-21
FREE Gift - John 4:1-14
Ripe for harvest - John 4:15-42
Signs and Wonders - John 4:43-54
what the Father is doing - John 5
What does God want? - John 6:25-59
sheer muscle and will power - John 60-71
The Argument - John 7
The Right Time - John 7:6-9 Reprise
I have been telling you - John 8:12-30
Free - John 8:31-47
In the Spotlight - John 8:48-59
Why do bad things happen to good people? - John 9:1-12
Blind - John 9:35-41
Thief - John 10:1-21
My sheep - John 10:22-42
Mysterious - John 11:1-16
Take the stone away - John 11:17-45
His intentions - John 12:1-11
Triumph and Tragedy - Luke 19:28-44
Prepare the Passover - Luke 22:7-21
Broken Servant Leaders - Luke 24-38
Keep watch and prayer - Matthew 26:36-56
My Kingdom is not of this world - John 18-19
Our turn now
Easter: Everlasting - Luke 24:13-35
Epilogue: Feed My Sheep - John 21