Monday, November 15, 2021
13-14 Jesus then appeared, arriving at the Jordan River from Galilee. He wanted John to baptize him. John objected, “I’m the one who needs to be baptized, not you!”
15 But Jesus insisted. “Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.” So John did it.
16-17 The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up, and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”
-Matthew 3:13-18 The Message
The Baptism of Jesus
Verse 13: Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan, coming to John to be baptized by him.
Verse 14: But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have the need to be baptized by You, and yet You are coming to me?”
Verse 15: But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So then he *allowed Him.
Verses 13-15 studies: John explained that Jesus’ baptism would be greater than his, but the unexpected happened. Jesus asked John to baptize Jesus himself. John felt unqualified to baptize Jesus. To be honest, I would have felt unqualified as well. But why did Jesus ask John to baptize him? It is not for repentance for sin because Jesus never sinned. Righteousness means to accomplish God’s mission. Jesus saw this as advancing God’s work. Jesus was baptized because:
- He is confessing sin on behalf of the nation, just like how Nehemiah, Ezra, Moses, and Daniel had done.
- He is showing support for John
- He was inaugurating his public ministry
- He was identifying with penitent people of God, not with critical Pharisees who were only watching.
Jesus didn’t need baptism; he is perfect. But to accept baptism in obedience serves to the Father, and God showed his approval.
Verse 15 study: Think about John’s situation. You doing well, your work is excellent. People begin to take notice; everything is growing. You know the purpose of your work; it’s to prepare people for Jesus (John 1:35-37). Jesus arrives, and test your integrity. Will you be able to turn your followers over to him? John passed the test by publicly baptizing Jesus. He would say, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Can we put our egos and professional work to the side like John did to point others to Jesus? You willing to lose status so that everyone can benefit?
Verse 16: After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him,
Verse 17: and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Verses 16-17 studies: The doctrine of the Trinity means that God is three people and one in essence. The passage shows all three persons of the Trinity are present and active. God the Father speaks; God, the son, is baptized; God, the Holy Spirit, descends on Jesus. God is one, yet in three persons at the same time. It’s God’s incomprehensible mystery. References that speak of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-13; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5; and 1 Peter 1:2.
We all have doubts about not being able to do your work or being inexperienced. Let us be reminded that you guide our way to do your jobs successfully. In Jesus’ name. Amen!