The third post on this site, The Revelation of Jesus Christ in the Flesh (written March 15, 2015), addressed the oft-overlooked fact that the great prophet John the Baptist did not know his cousin Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ until the moment he saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus at His baptism. John himself disclosed this: Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize wth water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remains is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ …” (John 1:32-33).
At the time, my emphasis was that even anointed prophets like John can interact with Christ in the flesh and not recognize Him without revelation from God. The article then addressed how most Christians today fail to appreciate Christ in the flesh, for we, the Body of Christ, are His embodiment, and we do not acknowledge His presence as often as we should as we interact with each other.
Praise God for progressive revelation! The latter point still holds true, and we need to repent and receive the ever-present grace to overcome our failure to constantly see Him in each other. But praise God, via a 2013 blog of the dear “Saint of Christ” on TheTruthLover.WordPress.com the Lord just revealed to me that Jesus did not become the Christ (that is, He did not receive the literal anointing by the Holy Spirit) until His baptism. Putting the two together, we see that when John interacted with his cousin for thirty years prior to His baptism, he was not interacting with Him as the Christ (recall Christ means “the Anointed One”). God revealed the identity of the Christ to John precisely when the Spirit descended upon his cousin Jesus because that was the moment Jesus received the anointing.
So Jesus, the Son of God, conceived not of a man’s desire but of the will of God when the Holy Spirit overshadowed His mother, did not become the Anointed One – the Christ – until the Holy Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism.
As discussed in a longer piece on this site (written January 2015), Jesus’ baptism was His hell-shattering repudiation of His natural self in complete submission to God; it was His public testimony before all beings of heaven and earth that He willfully chose to deny His fallen “soulish” nature inherited from His mother and do only what His Father was doing, and say only what the Father was saying. At this, God the Father spoke forth from heaven (one of only three times that Scripture records Him doing so during Jesus’ human life): And as he was praying, a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Then, Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. (Luke 3:21a-22; 4:1-2a).
That Jesus received His anointing at His baptism also fits well with all the Scriptural descriptions of Jesus as a child, which do not refer to the Holy Spirit, let alone Jesus being full of Him. Note that Luke specifically relays that the prophet John would be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth and that his parents were filled with the Holy Spirit (1:15, 41, 67), yet he makes no mention of the Holy Spirit filling or coming upon baby Jesus. Instead, Luke describes Jesus growing in God’s favor: And the child grew and became strong; he was filled wth wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him…. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:40,52).
Matthew’s account of the Magi and the escape to Egypt in ch. 2:1-23 also does not mention Jesus having the Holy Spirit as a baby.
Now the Scriptures indeed relay that at Jesus’ birth an angel announced to the shepherds a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11b), that Herod asked the religious leaders where the Christ was to be born (Matt. 2:4), and that the Holy Spirit caused both Simeon and Anna the prophetess to recognize the infant for whom He was destined to become (Luke 2:25-38), but none of these accounts indicate that Jesus actually carried the anointing already as a baby.
Lastly, it is noted that Jesus’ anointing as a 30 year-old man instead of at birth is congruous with the OT accounts of the priests, prophets, and kings before Him having been anointed when they were mature able-bodied men, usually about that age, and not at birth.
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. – Prov. 25:2
Praising God for concealing matters of Christ and graciously enabling us to search them out together, your sister deanna