Before and after is the start of a new series called Savage Jesus. Steven Furtick will explain the process that Jesus had to go through his life and we are going to see the parallel with our own life.
Have you ever read the gospel of Mark? Well, we are going to read the starting point of Jesus through this gospel although as we will see, this is not the starting point of Jesus. Actually, we are going to study that in the coming posts.
For now, let’s understand some of the main processes that Jesus go through.
Before and after
1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”. 3 “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” 4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of Camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”.
— Mark 1.1-15
Don’t forget that even though Mark consider that this is the beginning of the gospel, it was not the beginning of Jesus Christ. John came to prepare the way for the Lord (v.3) and Jesus came from Nazareth (v.9).
Nazareth is a place that means nothing to us today and it was the same for the people at that time. I mean, Nazareth was a very unpopular place to be born.
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”, this was the saying at that time. Take that context in which Jesus lived because He had to go through a season of obscurity before He fulfilled his purpose.
Great things come from small places.
We search for validation because we want attention.
Here’s a thought: Jesus got baptized but the idea of getting baptized is for those who need forgiveness of their sin and Jesus is free from any sin. So, why did Jesus got baptized? This was something that John couldn’t understand either and even though Mark doesn’t explain this, Matthew does.
15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
— Matthew 3.15 ESV
This means that the reason why Jesus got baptized was for obedience. But in our culture, one word more unpopular than preparation is obedience.
After this act of obedience is that God gave validation of Jesus as His beloved Son. So, we have to learn that we cannot get validation before obedience.
Notice that Jesus hasn’t done any miracle by the time the Father validates Him. This shows us that God doesn’t validate as humans do. Usually, people validates others based on what others do for them, but God doesn’t validate based on performance, He validates based on relationships. Hence, it’s about your relationship with God.
God didn’t validate what Jesus did, He validates who Jesus was. Jesus didn’t perform his ministry for acceptance, that’s why he didn’t care about the thoughts of anybody.
When you know the opinion of someone so important as God is, then the opinion of other people are insignificant. You don’t need to search the validation of others when God is willing to validate you as who you are because He made you.
Another thought related to obedience is that we want God to give us peace about a decision we have to make but peace comes after obedience. So, when Jesus went down into the waters (which signifies his death) and came back up (which signifies his resurrection), it was as He fulfilled his purpose that He saw the heavens open and he heard the voice of God.
You won’t find peace of God in your situation until you commit yourself to obey what God is speaking to your heart. Peace comes after obedience.
“I would do it when I feel peace about it,” this is a popular Christian phrase that doesn’t have sense once you understand that obedience comes first, not last.
Another thing I want you to notice is that the same dove that came as a validation was the dove that guides Jesus into the place where Satan was expecting Him (v.12-13). So, we could say that after the validation comes the temptation.
We need faith and faith is believing before what we can only understand after.
Some of the dry places that we want to avoid are the very places that God will use the most. The key is: Can I believe it before I see it?
10 And the God of all Grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
— 1 Peter 5.10
As you can see, that places I mentioned you have the purpose to bless you and make you stronger. Therefore, you should learn how to live in those seasons of your life.
Praise God before you are in the after.
Before we end, I want you to understand this process where you have to be prepared so you will start in the small places, then you will find validation after you obey and finally you will find temptation to proof your character and make you stronger for the coming blessings that God has prepared for you.
All of this is meaningless unless you make this simple prayer by [clicking here].
Also, I will be publishing more posts like this so subscribe to our [Newsletter].
Finally, don’t forget to Stay Healthy and to Subscribe!
See you in the post. Tschüss!