The Ministry of Jesus
There is a voice. It is crying in the wilderness, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” This man is unusual. He is dressing and eating like a Judean prophet and preaches with an intensity seldom seen or heard in Israel. His message is simple: Repent, because there is one coming whose ministry is to baptize in the Holy Ghost and fire.
Of course, John is readying the people to receive the ministry of Jesus. What did he say that the ministry of Jesus was? It is to baptize people in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What does this mean? Certainly, the powerful work of the Holy Spirit, with the fire it brings, is radical and all consuming. It is the ministry of Jesus to baptize, to immerse people in the fire of the Holy Ghost! If we are truly baptized in God’s spirit, Jesus is the adoring presence which we crave ever more. Once you get a taste, nothing else will satisfy.
Some might argue that the main ministry of Jesus is to take away sin. There is no argument here. John would also concur that he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. However, why limit Jesus?
Let Jesus be Jesus. He does take away our sin, but he also pours into every believer who wants him, the wonder and awe of his powerful being, manifested in the Holy Spirit. Once we are forgiven, our quest should be intimacy with the Holy Spirit.
How can we get started in this? Well, Jesus told his guys to wait in Jerusalem until they were baptized with the Holy Spirit. When Pentecost came, they were filled with the Spirit and they began to speak with other tongues. This was a sign of the baptism of fire that John the Baptist spoke about. It is still available today. It is the ministry of Jesus. It is his ministry of baptizing people into God’s mighty presence. It causes an intimacy with Jesus that cannot be attained by just trying to tame the flesh. It is Jesus himself, by the presence of the Holy Spirit, living and being in the heart of the believer!
I am hungry for him; how about you?