When in search of answers, people have been turning to The Bible for generations.
Whether it is during times of strife, loss, grief, or moments of doubt, indecision, betrayal, or joy, the stories in Scripture provide us with spiritual guidance, knowledge, and examples of how God has made an appearance in people’s lives. Here at Healing Place Church, we believe in the power of the Word of God as a way to get closer to Him and better understand what he has planned for us in this world. If ever you feel far away from God or need to strengthen your faith, the Word of God reveals so much of his heart. These stories are a part of us and we keep them alive by opening them up and learning their meanings. Healing Place Church has Bible study opportunities for those interested in meeting God through the literature.
The Story of Jesus Baptism and the Appearance of the Holy Spirit
The four Gospels tell the story of Jesus and while most of them overlap or retell similar events, all of the stories are different. Each brings a different perspective and a new light to the story of the Son of God. Jesus is a transformative figure. Reading through the Gospels we learn of his journey, his Temptation, his miracles, his teachings.
Let’s revisit one important story in the New Testament. The Baptism of Jesus appears in several of the Gospels. John the Baptist baptizes people with water as a way to bring them to repentance and renewal. John “food was locusts and wild honey.” (Matthew 1;4). John the Baptist had grown up out in nature. A common theme here is that John the Baptist understands that someone great will soon pay a visit. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” When Jesus approaches John to be baptized, John does not think he is worthy of this, given his own imperfections and sins.
In Matthew: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “ I need to be baptized by you, and you are coming to me?”
We can see John’s reluctance to go forward with it knowing who Jesus was. It was after Jesus was baptized that the heavens opened up, and “he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on him.” At this point in the story, the voice of God descends and says that that is his beloved Son.
There is much to draw on with this story. Jesus was humble and identified with sinners. He wanted to go through the baptism. There is humility here, but also the faith of connecting with God the Father through the repentance of sin. The baptism itself symbolizes the sinners into the righteousness of Christ and rebirth. The idea is one can repent from sin and rise again in the newness of life. Even though Jesus was sinless, he was baptized and the Holy Spirit was manifest. The appearance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove is special.
Today, our church also does water baptisms to welcome people into the way of Christ. It’s a powerful and transforming experience, as it has been for hundreds and hundreds of years.
The Story of the Adulterous Woman
The Gospel of John tells the story of the adulterous woman. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle” (John 8:3) The Pharisees ask Jesus about punishment for the woman, stating that under the laws of Moses these are punishable by stoning. As they told Jesus this, “Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.” They continued to ask him about this, demanding an answer. “When they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one they left and left the woman standing there alone. He told the woman, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
This story is often used as an example of our tendency to judge others so quickly without realizing our own faults and acknowledging our own sins first. It is easy to chastise others for their actions, but knowing that we too fail and fall short will help us have understanding and compassion for others. This is what Jesus taught the people at this moment. Many suggest that this was also a trap, but Jesus knew their hearts. Their hope was to get a charge against Jesus in order to arrest and try him.
Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8;12)
There are countless examples of moving stories and wisdom throughout The Bible. Some of the stories carry mystery, light, and faith about how to live our lives better and follow the teachings of Jesus. Reading the Old Testament and New Testament provides different insights as well. Come join us at Healing Place Church. Dive into the Word and strengthen your relationship with God. Let’s do it together!