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Saturday, September 26 2020

This is #20 in the Crossing the Threshold series.

                                       Jesus and The Hero’s Journey

Act One: Separation

Ordinary World

Once upon a time……In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (John 1:1-2). The story of our Hero, the Last Adam begins in the heavens; the part of God’s one good creation not contaminated by sin. The Apostle Paul captures this beautifully in his Epistle to the Philippians when he writes to his tiny flock and tells them to “have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7).

Our hero leaves The Ordinary World of heaven and enters The Special World of earth. The Incarnation is the beginning of the restoration of God’s entire creation and the reuniting of heaven and earth. It begins microscopically in the womb of a maiden from earth and a miraculous conception with a life from heaven (Luke 1:35).

The Call to Adventure

Shortly after our Hero’s birth comes the first Call to Adventure. Jesus is presented in the temple by his parent’s in accordance with the Law of Moses for “every first born male is to be called Holy to the Lord (Luke 2:23). In the temple is a devout elderly man named Simeon who is waiting for the fulfillment of a promise God made to him; he will not see death before he sees the Lord’s Christ. Simeon is a Herald bringing The Call for upon seeing the infant Jesus he blesses and proclaims him to be a light of revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of God’s people Israel. Turning to Mary, Jesus’ mother he gets more specific; “Behold this child is appointed for the fall and Resurrection of many in Israel and a sign to be opposed and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed” (Luke2:34-35).

The Refusal of the Call

Silence replaces the Refusal of the Call. From infancy to adulthood the scriptures are virtually silent on the life of Jesus. The one exception is the record of his visit to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast in his twelfth year. After losing Jesus for three days his parent’s find him sitting in the temple dialoguing with the teachers. His response to his mother’s query may sound strange, “Why is it that you were looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke2:49). It does tell us that he understood his Call even if his parents by their bewilderment did not.

Meeting with the Mentor

All three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) give an account of Jesus’ baptism. The Gospel of John however skips the actual baptism in favor of recording the testimony of another Herald John the Baptist. He identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Jesus is baptized by his cousin to “fulfill all righteousness” and immediately after he comes out of the water the heavens open and the Spirit descends on him. A voice out of heaven declares “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. (Matthew 3:16-17). The Father Mentor has spoken and given to Jesus the Son all he needs for the adventure that lies ahead.

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