When we look back on our lives with maturity, sometimes the valleys turn out to be high points. God shows up in valleys turning them upside down. In Jesus life, he went down to the Jordan river to John and down in the water of baptism. Then he proceeded to the wilderness and temptation. Why are these valleys famous in Matthew chapter 3? John was challenging the people to “8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Water baptism is to remind God and us that we see our sinful nature and are trusting is grace and power to wash us for a new life. Jesus didn’t need to repent. He did need to show obedience. Like when we forgive others because God asks us to forgive, or love the unloveable. Obedience to God’s ways is good for us.
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
God’s response to Jesus obedience is “my son.” Obedience to God’s love and grace always brings encouragement. When we are kind and loving to others, we feel better about ourselves. It may be distasteful to admit we need the obedience of water baptism, but its part of what makes us God’s children.
The Valley of Temptation
Jesus second valley of victory and vulnerability is launching the gospel ministry. Matthew four say he was lead into and tempted in the wilderness. We are all tempted, but for Jesus, this was a new experience. I generally struggle to pass the test. I’m not sure if he struggled, but we know he did agree with the Devil. My take away, it is ok to feel conflicted when tempted, choose God’s way out.
The lesson for life
Our valleys of vulnerability are great places to find God’s love and acceptance. Jesus went down to the Jordan river to lead the way for us. He revealed God’s love for obedience. He walked through the wilderness to teach us the authoritative nature of God’s word. Finding God in a low point is reasonable. “Yea though I walk through the valley” you are with me, Psalm 23. The valleys are high points because looking back we see God’s love and presence with us.