The pivotal point in the plan between the two covenants happened along the banks of the River Jordan. John is baptizing repentant Jews as a sort of cleansing ritual. John knew his calling concerning preparing the way for his cousin, Jesus. So when Jesus came to be baptized, John balked. As the sinless Savior, Jesus had no need to repent and therefore no need to be baptized. Yet Jesus insisted. Why?
As John baptized Jesus with water, God baptized—anointed—His Son with the Holy Spirit. He was anointed for ministry, for Jesus would operate on the earth by the Spirit just as would His disciples. When the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus, a voice came from Heaven that only He and John heard: “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
To the Jews the concept of the Father having a Son was utter and complete blasphemy. God had revealed Himself in many ways throughout the Old Testament, but not as their heavenly Father. Their relationship with the Almighty was clearly defined when God brought them out of Egypt: “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God” (Ex. 6:7). For God to be your Father meant that you were a son of God. That was an outright claim to Deity, which is why they sought to kill Jesus.
Jesus continually asserted that He came forth from the Father and that He and His Father were one. Because of this the Jews, at one point, took up stones to stone Him, saying “we are not stoning you for any of these miracles, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:30-33).
Matthew 22:41-45 records the following exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees: “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?’ ‘The son of David,’ they replied. He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him [his own descendant] Lord?’ ” The Pharisees were probably thinking: When did David ever refer to one of his descendants as being God?
Then Jesus quoted Psalm 110 written by David: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” The Pharisees recognized this prophetic, Messianic Psalm. The Old Testament prophecies were clear. The Messiah’s ancestry would trace back to King David. He would be the “son of David” and He would sit on the throne of David. The right to sit on David’s throne was reserved for the coming Messiah, and to no other.
As the religious leaders pondered the Psalm, Jesus posed the following question: “If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” The question exposed the very heart of the mystery. How could the Messiah be both God (David’s Lord) and man (David’s son)? The Pharisees were stumped. They could not explain it. Matthew’s account concludes with “no one dared question Him from that time forward.” Ya think! The mystery of Christ begins with the foundational revelation that God was manifested in the flesh—being both the Son of Man and the Son of God. Jesus was God robed in a flesh and blood body.
Jesus posed a similar question to His disciples, as recorded in Matt 16:13-19. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They responded with John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or perhaps one of the other prophets. His follow-up question went right to the point of the matter. “But who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Simon Peter made the connection. He glimpsed the first light of the hidden mystery. This Man standing before them was none other than the Son of God!
It was for this heavenly connection that Jesus was crucified. Jesus’ own disciples did not anticipate this turn of events when they first met Him. To grasp it required a revelation from above. So you can imagine how it must have startled the disciples when Jesus taught them to begin their prayers by saying, “Our Father, who is in Heaven…”
Jesus’ simple lesson on prayer highlighted another crucial part of the mystery: for if God so loved the world that He gave up His only begotten Son, how could there be other sons? How could His disciples, being mere men, dare approach God as their heavenly Father? Only a son can pray, “My Father…” Were they to become sons of God, too?
The Chronos Lesson: A prophecy in Zechariah 6:12-13 stated, “Behold, the man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the Temple of the Lord…He shall bear the glory and shall sit and rule on His throne.”
It was prophesied that this man would build the Temple of the Lord. Even though the disciples realized that Jesus was that Man, they had yet to discover that they would become that Temple. The earthly temple that they had so greatly admired would soon be destroyed; not one stone would be left standing upon another. The Branch, however, would build a new one. Only this time, with Living Stones!