The Holy Spirit and Jesus’ Ministry

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The statement by John, “Baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,” has an undertone which is connected to a theme which intertestamental Jews held. This idea was not related directly to the Holy Spirit and the work He would have at Jesus’ baptism or in Jesus’ ministry. A question such as, why would an unrelated belief have a connection to the Holy Spirit who was to come in the baptism of Jesus? This belief was the idea that a time of affliction or anguish would take place before the coming of the messiah. This was referred to as the birth pangs of the messiah. One reference which is used to support this is from the prophet Daniel, where in one of his visions he refers to war being made against the saints and until the ancient of days would come there would be judgment upon the saints (Dan. 7:21-22). The fire which john speaks about could be a fire of judgment for the people as well as a fire which would purify the saints. Various OT prophets confirm this idea of judgment by fire (Amos 7:4; Mal. 4:1) which the people would have to experience. Another reference to fire as judgment 2 Peter 3:6-7 where the fire is being stored up for the heavens and the earth until the day of judgment. The imagery of this fire in Jesus’ baptism is seen as a river or stream of fire (Dan. 7:10). Another element of this early held view of the fire of Jesus’ baptism was also dual purposed in its nature. As the fire would destroy the wicked it would also purge and cleanse the righteous. These references to fire help clarify the possible understanding of the differences between John’s and Jesus baptisms. This was not the sole purpose of His baptism; he was preparing the way (Matt. 3:3) for Jesus. One way the baptism of Jesus could be seen,...

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...ation. The first temptation, when Satan told Jesus to turn the stones to bread (Matt. 4:3), focused on Jesus’ hunger. From being led into the wilderness by the Spirit, to this first temptation it was forty days and Jesus had not eaten anything. His physical need at the moment was sustenance, he was hungry and his body needed nourishment. Once again another reference to Israel is made in parallel to Jesus. The Israelites cried out to God because they did not have any food to eat in the wilderness, so God send them manna for them for their food. As the Israelites were complaining to God and not trusting Him, Jesus did the opposite and He did not succumb to His human frailty but trusted in God and place His dependence upon food.

Work Cited

The Holy Bible. New International Version. [Colorado Springs]: Biblica, 2016. BibleGateway.com. Web. 3 Jan. 2016.

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