The Priesthood of Jesus and the Devilish Offers
The 40 days of testing was a harsh pastoral internship. But our Lord's temptations gave him discernment to detect and test the spirits.
The Birth of Israel’s Priest
When our Jesus entered the scene of first-century Palestine, he entered it nakedly as a babe sheltered by a manger. He humbled himself by dressing in human flesh for us and our salvation (Gal. 4:4). He was born of a virgin in total dependence on motherly care and nurture and trained in Israel's history and liturgy from his earliest days. Thus, he grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man (Lk. 2:52). He embodied the theology of Israel and Israel's God. The nurture and admonition he received built a particular disposition, a template for warfare against everything that opposed the worship of Yahweh. He was Israel’s great defender; indeed, he was the true Israelite from the line of David. As the hymn-writer says, “David’s Son, yet David’s Lord.”
The God-Man matured for Israel’s sake. For 30 years, he pursued righteousness, submitting to the laws of his forefathers in circumcision (Lk. 2:21), celebrating the history of his people at Passover (Lk. 2:41), and following his father’s profession as a carpenter (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3). Now, he must be about his father’s business and give his life for his people.
John the Forerunner comes from the desert and prepares the way for this catechized Israelite. To confirm his calling as the ordained priest of Israel, he was baptized by the greatest of all prophets (Lk. 7:28). When Jesus went into the water, the Spirit descended upon him like a dove, the heavens opened, and all heavenly grace was poured on Israel’s King. In baptism, Jesus put on royal clothing, with two royal witnesses affirming his call—The Father and the Spirit. The Triune God gathered for Israel’s most noble ordination service.
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