Passages that stuck out to me in today’s reading in The One Year Chronological Bible (NIV). Today’s passages were on John baptizing Jesus, the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, and the call of the first disciples.
John Baptizes Jesus: Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:29-34
- In these passages we see all three members of the Trinity present – the Father expressing His pleasure in the Son as the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus.
Satan Tempts Jesus in the Desert:
At once the Spirit sent Him out into the desert, and He was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan . . . and angels attended Him. (Mark 1:12-13)
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1)
The tempter came to Him . . . (Matthew 4:3a)
Jesus said to him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.'” Then the devil left Him, and angels came and attended Him. (Matthew 4:10-11)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil. (Luke 4:1)
Jesus answered, “It is written: “Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.'” (Luke 4:8)
These verses really resonated with me today. For the past month or so I have felt absolutely exhausted, defeated, and pummeled by life in general, to the point of almost giving up hope that things will ever get better or that God – or anyone else for that matter – even cares. If I can just be real for a minute, I’m not sure why God keeps letting so much crap happen. I have to hold on to the belief that there is some sort of purpose in what keeps getting thrown at me. But it’s getting harder and harder to see that, and the weight is getting heavier and heavier. At this point, I’m just trying to hang on to hope and faith for dear life. These verses give me some hope that this will end, and God will send someone or something to help restore my joy and give me some hope back. I just pray it happens soon.
Four Fishermen Follow Jesus:
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him. When He had gone a little farther, He saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed Him. (Mark 1:16-20)
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed Him. (Matthew 4:18-22)
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed Him. (Luke 5:11)
I’ve never really thought about Zebedee in this story before until today. What must he have thought? I mean his sons were working with him. They had a job to do for their father and their family. Then some dude comes by, tells his sons to follow Him, and THEY DO IT. They just up and LEAVE their father in the middle of the job they are supposed to be doing. I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through Zebedee’s mind. Actually, yes. Yes, I can. I worked with my dad when I was younger, and that would not have gone over well. It would not go over well now if my son were to walk away to follow some random guy in the middle of a job I had given him to do.
But the point is that Jesus called, and they obeyed. Something made them drop everything – leave everything and everyone they had ever known – parents, siblings, SPOUSES, CHILDREN, jobs, security, safety, comfort – and follow Him. Not knowing where they were going or what would happen. He called, and they answered.
They met the Son of God, and they couldn’t say no. They couldn’t stay where they were. Not after that. Nothing else mattered. Knowing Him – meeting Him – made it all worthwhile.
I want that kind of encounter with Jesus. I want to know that it is all worthwhile.