Such was the question from commenter and penfriend WmJas, in response to yesterday's post on Jesus. At first I had no specific answer, but this morning something came to me as valid (within my understanding):
John (the Baptist) seems to have baptised hundreds of people before Jesus; and he had the ability to call down the spirit of God so that it would 'touch' each person for a moment. But when he baptised Jesus, the spirit remained - and that was when Jesus underwent the 'extraordinary transformation' and became fully divine as a mortal man.
This shows the uniqueness of Jesus; that there was something about him which none of the other hundreds who were baptised had - and which John himself lacked. It shows that if we have sin (that is, if we are not fully aligned with God's motivations and purposes) the spirit of God can do no more than touch us; and this state of sin is universal - except for Jesus.
We know that it is universal from the quote attributed to Jesus (which I regard as authentic and true) that there had been no greater prophet than John - and by implication no greater Man. Yet the spirit did not stay with John; so it would not stay upon anybody... except Jesus.
I assume that when the spirit was brought down by John to touch a person, it made only an evanescent different to that person - gave him a 'nudge'. But, due presumably to Man's possession of agency, of free will, that touch of the divine can and will very soon be overcome by the God-unaligned will of sinful Man (i.e. all Men - except Jesus).
I think this also gives us a clue as to why John led an ascetic life of strict boundaries: because he was a normal-sinful Man; and by contrast Jesus could do whatever he willed, mix-with whichever person he wished to mix-with...
Since Jesus was wholly aligned with God's creative love, he did not need generalised laws or rules-of-thumb of the kind that are necessary to everyone else.
Jesus had no use for generalities to regulate him; since he innately-knew and spontaneously abided-by the exact specific requirements of every possible situation.
For me this answers why so much controversy about how to “be like” Jesus, with many saying you must hang out with those in serious and unrepentant sin, where the more mainstream and stable types encourage not mixing company with grave sinners.
I think people want to skip the steps involving judgment (and risk), prefering virtue-signaling of one kind or another.
That's a good point about John's ascetic lifestyle vs. Jesus' freedom to do whatever he wanted.
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