Jesus was about thirty years old when He came from Galilee to River Jordan to be baptised by His cousin
John the Baptist. John was baptising people and preparing them for the coming of the Messiah, the Saviour.
Jesus went up to him and asked him to baptise Him. John was a prophet and he knew that Jesus, the Son
of God, had come to save the world’s people from their sins. He knew that Jesus was greater than he. So, he tried to make Jesus change His mind.
“I ought to be baptised by you,” John said, “and yet, you have come to me!” Jesus answered, “Let it be so for now! In this way, we shall do all that God requires.” So, John agreed and baptised Jesus in River Jordan.
As soon as Jesus was baptised, the most beautiful thing happened. The heavens opened and the Holy Spirit came down and sat on His shoulder in the form of a dove. Suddenly, a voice from the heavens said, “This is my own dear Son. I am pleased with Him.”
Right after His baptism, the Holy Spirit led Jesus to a desert, to be tempted by the Devil. Jesus knew that it was an important task to be carried out forN His Heavenly Father. So, for forty days and nights at a stretch, He prayed to the Lord for strength and guidance.
After fasting for forty days and nights, Jesus was hungry. At that moment, Satan came there to tempt Him. Long, long ago, he had tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God in the Garden of Eden. Now, it was God’s Son, Jesus’ turn, to be tested. But each time Satan tried to tempt Jesus, He never gave in. Instead, He answered by quoting the scripture.
First, Satan challenged Jesus to change the stones into loaves of bread if He was truly the Son of God. He knew Jesus was hungry and that only God’s Son could turn stones to bread! But Jesus replied using God’s words, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Next, Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem, and put Him on top of the holy temple. He then asked Jesus to jump down. He said that God’s angels would catch Him and He would not be hurt if He was really God’s Son. Jesus answered, “The scripture says, ‘Do not put the Lord to test’.”
Finally, Satan led Jesus to a high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. He told Jesus that he gave Him the power over the world if He would bow down and worship him. Jesus replied, “Get behind me, O Satan! It is written, ‘Worship the Lord and serve Him only’.”
Satan understood that he could not temptn Jesus to sin. So, he left Him. Soon, God’s angels came to comfort and care for Jesus. Jesus left the desert and went down to Galilee. There, He started to tell people all about God and how they should live their life in order to please Him.
One day, Jesus went into Nazareth, the town where He had grown up. It was Sabbath, the holy day of the week. Like all Jewish men, Jesus also went to the synagogue (a Jewish house of worship). During the service, Jesus stood up to read the scroll of Prophet Isaiah.
Jesus read the passage that talked about the coming of the Messiah or Saviour. He said, “Today, these words have come true. God has sent me to bring you the good news of His Kingdom.”
Everyone listened to Him with rapt attention. Jesus spoke well, and the things He was saying to them impressed them. They began to whisper to one another, “Isn’t He the son of Joseph the carpenter?”
Jesus further said to them, “I am sure you will tell me ‘Doctor, heal yourself’. But prophets are never welcomed in their home towns. For instance, there were many people suffering from a dreaded skin disease in Israel during the time of Prophet Elisha; yet, none of them were healed except Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people heard this, they were filled with anger. They rose up and seized Jesus, dragging Him out of the synagogue. They took Him to the top of the hill on which their city was built, intending to throw Him down!
Jesus, however, managed to get away to safety. He never went back to Nazareth. Instead, He went to other towns and villages, telling the good news about God’s Kingdom, and healing people who were sick.