Follow the Leader
Loving Father God, how marvelous are Your wondrous ways; how kind is Your forgiving grace. I praise You.
Read Mark 1:9-13
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
It’s not until we know who we truly are in Christ that we can become all we were meant in Christ to be.
In today’s world, suitability for a demanding public role usually involves possessing impressive credentials and knowing people of influence to open the right doors. It probably wasn’t that different in Jesus’ time. In stark contrast, Jesus appears on the scene from an obscure, somewhat questionable background (John 1:46), engaging in action that initially appears to make little sense. If he is the God-anointed king that John was proclaiming, why did he need to be baptized like everyone else and why then disappear into the desert for several weeks instead of holding a political rally or doing an eye-catching miracle or two? Equally, as the one who came to be understood as sinless, why should he submit to a rite directly related to repentance and cleansing? Matthew tells us that John, in fact, tried to stop him getting baptized (Matt. 3:14).
The answer has a depth of meaning relevant to all of humanity ever since. Right from the outset of his ministry, Jesus identified fully with our sinful plight and purposefully did what was required so that we didn’t have to remain in that position (Matt. 3:15; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15,16). In his actions we see the fullness of God at work, all three members of the Trinity being actively present. We also see that what mattered to Jesus was obedience to his Father, not popularity with people. That passionate, tender cry of the Father over him, affirming his identity and belonging, must have continued to ring in his ears–not just right afterward when he battled with temptation, but also throughout his journey to the cross.
In Jesus we have a king who is not concerned about status or reputation, preferring instead full obedience to God and possessing a passion for people that drove him to act as he did.
If you have leadership responsibilities, ask God to help you lead from your identity as his child, sharing his passion for people.
Lord Jesus, I’m amazed and challenged by Your example. You not only identified with me but You desired above all else to please God. May it be so with me.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2024 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.