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Jesus’s Relationship with the Holy Spirit before His Water Baptism Experience


 One of the reasons many of us were not as strong in the Holy Spirit as we should have been as children and young people is because we church leaders tend to believe Jesus’s relationship with the Holy Spirit started when He was baptized by John in the Jordan. A texting discussion with our church elders yesterday morning helped me realize we need to take a second look at this issue.

 

So is there any Biblical evidence that Jesus as a human while on the earth had a daily relationship with the Holy Spirit before He was baptized by John?  I believe there is, and I want to start with this reality.

 

Jesus Christ, God the Son for all of eternity enjoyed unbroken, intimate and glorious fellowship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. No one would contest that Biblically.

But the question is: when did that relationship resume once He began His life as a human on planet earth? We know He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb as my last post established. But what about His childhood and teenage and early adult years?

 

Well why don’t we start by looking at some Old Testament Messianic prophecies about Jesus the Messiah. For instance, in Psalm 22:9,10 the Messiah Jesus in the time of His extreme suffering when He at one point felt forsaken by God encouraged Himself in God by declaring, “Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb.”  Jesus clearly states here that His relationship/fellowship with God as a human began in Mary’s womb. Strangely we tend to think that He is only speaking of God the Father here don’t we?

 

In Psalm 40:6-8 (another Messianic prophecy) Jesus says to God, “Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened (lit. dug); Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”  Questions: Is He only speaking to God the Father when He says these things?  Isn’t God One?  Why would He not also be speaking to God the Spirit?  Did Jesus only begin to delight to do God’s will after His baptism?  If so, how could God say at His water baptism, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased?” (see Matthew 3:17). And when Luke tells us in Luke 2:47 regarding the hours Jesus as a twelve year old had spent in the Temple, “And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.” – weren’t they affirming that indeed God’s Law was already within His heart? Is it not the Holy Spirit who helps us understand and properly respond to God’s word?

 

Isaiah 11:1-3 prophesies of the coming Messiah Jesus in this way, “Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, ….And He will delight in the fear of the Lord…”  When did Jesus begin to delight in the fear of the Lord?  Would anyone argue that He surely began to do that as a child (esp. from Luke 2:40 & vs. 52)? So did the Holy Spirit not rest on Him until His water baptism?

 

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:40

 

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52

 

Let’s look next at Isaiah 42:1 where God says through the prophet re: His Son the Messiah Jesus, “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.”  God the Father surely did not start delighting in Jesus at or after His water baptism did He? Did He not delight in Him when Jesus as a child responded to God’s voice and delighted in His word? Did He not delight in Him as a child when He willingly subjected Himself to His parents? (see Luke 2:51). Did He not delight in Him when He willingly as the firstborn son helped his father with the family business and surely helped his parents with all of the younger siblings? So when did He put His Spirit upon Him? Please note God says, “I have put..”, which speaks to a past action. And then He speaks of what Jesus will do in the future, “He will bring forth justice…”.  Food for thought….

 

In Isaiah 50:4,5 Jesus the Messiah speaks these revealing words about His relationship with Yahweh, “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. The Lord God has opened my ear; And I was not disobedient Nor did I turn back.”  The question again is when did this relationship start?  Based on what we see about Jesus’s life as a child in Luke 2 doesn’t it stand to reason that it began early?  If God informs the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you;…” (Jeremiah 1:5); and if it is said of John the Baptist, “…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:15), should we not expect the same activity of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus who knew no sin and who valued the fellowship and communion He had with Father and Holy Spirit for all of eternity far more than anything the earth or world could give Him?

 

One more passage in Isaiah – 53:2, “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty  That we should look upon Him…” Does this not speak to Jesus in His childhood as One who grew up before or in relationship with Father and Holy Spirit?  Does not the word “tender” speak to His responsiveness to Father and Holy Spirit’s initiatives from childhood on?

 

When Jesus told His disciples, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)  Does it not stand to reason that if the “voice out of the heavens” declared God was well pleased with Jesus before He ever started His ministry (see Matthew 3:17) that Jesus lived His life up to that point by the Spirit? Could He have lived a life well pleasing to God without the Spirit?

 

I will conclude these thoughts with a passage from Revelation 12:5 about Jesus’s childhood relationship with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, “And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.” Jesus as a child and young person and young adult was never enamored with the things of this world. Rather He was enamored and focused on resuming and maintaining the fellowship with the Father and the Spirit that He had enjoyed for all of eternity. That’s why Luke explains when adoring crowds were seeking Him (see Luke 5:15) He would, “…..often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”

 

Dear friends, especially those of you have children or grandchildren or who work with/minister to children, it is crucial that we see this aright. For Jesus as a child and teenager and young adult is our model for what kind of life God finds as well pleasing. And He is our model for what kind of life is possible by the Holy Spirit even as a child or young person.  Yes I realize the children and teenagers of today have to deal with sin, Satan and demons, this evil world system, etc. All the more why they need to come into a dependent relationship with the Holy Spirit as early as possible.

 

Finally I do realize that when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His water baptism amazing and powerful ministry soon broke loose through our Savior Jesus. As far as we know Jesus did no miracles up to that point. So there was clearly a filling or baptism and anointing then that postured Him and enabled Him for 3 and a half years of life transforming ministry. But to then say He had no relationship with the Holy Spirit until that point in my simple mind is a grave mistake.  Holy Spirit please help us see and know and experience You as You are in Jesus’s name, Amen!

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