Rhett Smith Podcast 33: Jesus Baptism, Wrestling with God, and Exploring What it Means to Live in Your Truth
There are two stories in the Bible that have gripped my imagination for the last 5-6 years. One is the story of Jesus at his baptism, specifically in the gospel of Mark 1:9-11, which records the voice of God the Father in Heaven declaring to his son Jesus (while the Spirit is descending like a dove), “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Here is the passage:
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (NIV)
The other story is found in Genesis 32-33 and records the story of Jacob as he prepares to be reunited with his estranged brother Esau. In earlier years jacob had stolen Esau’s birthright and blessing and is now preparing to meet up with again…with some fear and trembling I might add. I am fascinated by the story of Jacob wrestling with God. I am fascinated with this scene:
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.
But what is really fascinating to me is the ensuing encounter that Jacob has with Esau after he has wrestled with God. There is a beautiful play on the word for eyes in Hebrew, and a very beautiful encounter of not only seeing God face to face, but seeing his brother Esau face to face.
Both of these stories are examples of a person being and living out of their Truth, and therefore, they lend insight to us about what that might look like for us to be and live in our Truth in our lives.
Identifying, acknowledging, being, and living out of your Truth is a hard task for most people that I know. Many feel they don’t know or have a Truth, while others struggle to practice and access it in their daily lives. The reality is, is that living in our Truth is not a work of perfection, or arriving at it permanently, but rather an ongoing struggle to believe and live beyond ourselves. For when we do this, not only are we transformed, but so are our relationships.
In this episode I explore:
- what it means to be in our Truth
- Jesus’ baptism and the model it presents for being in our Truth
- Jacob wrestling with God and what it teaches us about being in our Truth
- how being in our Truth impacts not only us, but our relationships
- 3 sources for finding our Truth
- Henri Nouwen and his book, In the Name of Jesus
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Resources Mentioned in this Episode