The Exciting Commissioning Ceremony of a Soldier and King

The British monarchy has been followed by millions of people around the world for decades. Their lives captivate us with romance, drama, and intrigue most likely from the fairy tales of castles, princes, and princesses since we were children.

Though we might think that kings sit on their royal thrones giving decrees all day and shining in their proud glory, they have a much more active role. A great deal of it is spent protecting and advancing their kingdoms.

Many have adored Prince William as they’ve watched him grow and prepare to become a future king. One thing he has had to do to train for this position is learn to defend his country from the front lines, like kings have done in millenniums past. Even David marched out in front with his mighty men before and after he became king.

Each soldier, whether a commoner or royal, needs to go through basic training and then participate at a commissioning ceremony before they start their official role and duties.

Jesus spent much of His early years training with God the Father in His wisdom and understanding to prepare Him for the role and duties set before Him, as evidenced in last week’s post titled, Evidence of the King Grows in a Twelve-Year-Old Boy.

Finally, the time came for Him to begin His service.

Each commissioning certificate begins with the name of the ruler overseeing the country.

“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas…” Luke 3:1a

This gives us an idea that the ceremony most likely took place in AD29, being that it was the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. The certificate holds the jurisdiction under Roman authority in Israel’s territory by the other names listed. This was furthermore under Jewish order.

The order of event and commissioning certificate were prepared. The Master of Ceremony was scheduled by the King to be the prophet of the time, John the Baptist. The invitations were sent by John to all who would come, quoting another famous prophet:

“God’s word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:

A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
make his paths straight!
Every valley will be filled,
and every mountain and hill will be made low;
the crooked will become straight,
the rough ways smooth,
and everyone will see the salvation of God.”
Luke 3:1-6

The invitations gave a glimpse to what this newly commissioned Officer would be on mission to do. He would be sent to correct order and bring salvation to all. No small directive by any means. But it seemed like one intriguing and noteworthy ceremony to attend.

Ladies, get your fascinators, dresses, and gloves ready for this grand to-do.

The day of the Commissioning Ceremony arrived! People gathered from all over the area for the occasion. It was going to be a superb event! Before he got to the presentation, John addressed the audience themselves. Were any of them willing and ready to join this new army?

“John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.

He proclaimed, “One who is more powerful than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:4-8

Vogue was disappointed by the outfit the Master of Ceremony picked for the event, and the appetizers he chose were a little odd too, but perhaps they could try to incorporate it in their new spring collection. Though some had their eyes on the appearance and fanfare of the event, John wanted them all to get their minds focused on the reality of Jesus’ commissioning, and what that meant for them personally.

As the registration was being passed around for others to enlist, the moment came in the ceremony for Jesus to receive his certificate.

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?”

Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John allowed him to be baptized.” Matthew 3:13-15

John knew the significance of this special event, and the person who received the true honour, for this was no common soldier. This was the Most-High King! But order is order, and someone needed to officially commission Him into service, and so John did.

“As soon as he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well-pleased.’” Mark 1:10-11

The crowd went silent as John handed Jesus the certificate. They all looked up as the heavens tore open and something like a dove descended on this Soldier! Then, with a thunderous voice full of authority, He received greatest approval and favour from His very own Father, the King over heaven and earth.

The significance of the moment captivated John and Jesus, and those who had registered to join them. But much of the crowd were dazed with the fun of the event, not really taking anything seriously, as they had not seen or understood what the new army or battles looked like. They had not trained for it, nor knew others who had. But they would soon find out what that moment meant for all.

Immediately after receiving His certificate, while others were still tasting the appetizers and sipping on their wine, Jesus was taken from the ceremony and sent straight into His first battle.

Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and the angels were serving him.” Mark 1:12-13

After claiming His first victory as a commissioned Soldier, He returned to His home base for a time, and continued preparing for more battles to come. The Master of Ceremony bumped into Him at other events a couple more times, highlighting reminding and teaching others of the significance of this man.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’ I didn’t know him, but I came baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”  And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and he rested on him.  I didn’t know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The one you see the Spirit descending and resting on—he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’  I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’” John 1:29-34

With His Father the King directing Him, it was time for this Soldier to rise up in rank and train those under Him for service. His time on the throne would soon come, and He needed to get His army ready.

After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’” Mark 1:14-15

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