“This is what should be done,” Jesus said. “We must do all that God requires of us” (Eyewitness Matthew 3:15).
Eyewitness: p. 33
In Your Bible: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23a
The record of John the Baptist’s ministry is very brief. The account of Jesus baptism is shorter! John the Baptist’s message, a call for repentance directly addressed what to do about our sin problem. Look closely at what John the Baptist preached. He and Jesus both emphasized Kingdom lifestyle and righteous living.
John the Baptist knew Jesus was from God. When Jesus stepped into the water and came to him, John objected and said, ” I should be baptized by you. Why are you coming to me?” “This is what should be done, Jesus said, We must do all that God requires of us” (Eyewitness Matthew 3:14,15).
John the Baptist brought the revelation that repentance and baptism were critical to being a Jew and serving God. Prior to that a Jew did not need baptism. Notably, they did baptize and circumcise proselytes who came to Judaism from other faiths. Baptism was for sinners, the Jews were the Sons of Abraham. A dilemma. Why should a Jew be baptized?
WHY DID JESUS NEED TO BE BAPTIZED?
Was it because Jesus was in the form of a man or born of a woman? Or because Jesus identified with mankind’s need for repentance? Or was it to grasp John’s baptism (for repentance) is part of God’s work – physically and spiritually cleansing of man’s body, soul, and spirit? Jesus said it should be done. Something to ponder. Do all God requires.
The voice of God is of supreme importance when Jesus comes out of the water at his baptism. God said, “You are my Son, whom I love. I am well pleased with you” (Eyewitness Luke 3:22). The first statement is from Psalm 2:7 which is a verse every Jew knew as the description of the Messiah. The second statement is from Isaiah 42:1, a description of the Suffering Servant, and culminates in Isaiah 53. God affirmed Jesus!
ADDED INSIGHT FROM LUKE’S ACCOUNT
* Jesus came for baptism after everyone else had been baptized that day (only in Luke).
* John baptizes Jesus.
* Jesus prays (only in Luke).
* Heaven opens up and the Holy Spirit descends as a dove.
* Then God speaks and affirms Jesus as His Son.
In the baptism of Jesus these certainties are revealed:
* Jesus was indeed the Chosen One of God.
* The way in front of Jesus was the way of the Cross.
* The King’s throne must first be a Cross.
After this momentous occasion, Jesus began his public ministry, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and in continuous in communication with his Father. He made many disciples, taught additional hundreds who flocked to hear him, healed all kinds of diseases, raised the dead, cast out demons, and showed the Father’s love for man. What a beginning after being ministered to by John the Baptist.
Application: Jesus said it succinctly, “We must do all that God requires of us” Our task – don’t balk when God says to do something and don’t be discouraged in doing good. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Learn of Him.
Prayer: Father, help me to keep asking you, learning from you, and seeing what you want me to do. I praise you God.
Photo courtesy of Dunatos777 via flikr