Thursday, October 3, 2013

Divine Encounters (Luke 3:22)

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22 KJV)

Yesterday, we saw that Jesus obeyed in the issue of baptism, and when He prayed, heaven opened. Today's verse tells us that, when Heaven opened, the Holy Ghost took the bodily form of a dove, flew down, and as I read this, "descended upon Him".  In my mind's eye, I see a dove sitting on Jesus's shoulder.

We have grown so accustomed to this verse that it hardly seems unusual at all, but consider this. John in his camel skin outfit is in the Jordan River with Jesus, having just baptized Him. Jesus is dripping wet, and suddenly a big white bird flies down and lands on His shoulder. Since this is the Holy Ghost in dove form, Jesus knows this bird, because it is part of the Trinity with Him, and contains His essence. No one else knows this dove nor do they know that it is the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove. I don't have to imagine very hard to know that the bystanders were not only stunned, their eyes were riveted on Jesus. (Which is, admittedly, the perfect place to be looking)

While the crowd is standing there with their mouths gaping, a Voice from heaven booms out. Clearly understandable, the Voice says, "This is my much loved Son, and I am well-pleased with Him." Right there in the middle of the Jordan River, the people experienced the Holy Trinity in a profound and unforgettable way. They probably told everyone they saw for weeks about these remarkable events. Really, they were probably talking about the Divine Encounter that occurred in the least likely place, at the most unexpected time, for the rest of their lives.

Divine Encounters are not always as dramatic as this one, but they always leave us changed and astounded. In what way have you experienced the divine recently? Where have you seen our Lord demonstrating His power and His love? Are you telling everyone you see about this wonderful news?

Pray today that our children, our loved ones, will come face to face with the divine in an unassailable way that cannot be mistaken for anything except God Himself, and that it will leave them not only astounded, but also changed to be more like Jesus.