As a dad, there is always something special about seeing my kids follow in my footsteps. It’s really cute when they are little and you watch them try and literally step in your footsteps as you walk through the snow, or in the sand on the beach. But, as they grow, when you see them following your example in pursuing God, and you see their faith become their own, I can not be more proud of them. I wonder if that’s how God felt about His son? And, does He feel that way about me too?
The Passage: Mark 1:9-11; Matt 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-23
- John’s ministry was preparing the way for people to receive the Messiah. As John baptized people, Mark 1:4 tells us that his baptism was for repentance for the forgiveness of sins. So, why did Jesus ask John to Baptize him?
- John objects to Jesus’ request. How does Jesus answer, and what is the significance of His answer? How does that relate to His commission to be the living Word, and the light?
- How does God respond to Jesus’ Baptism?
- What’s the significance of the Holy Spirit’s appearance at this stage in Jesus’ ministry?
It has been 20 years since we have seen or heard from Jesus. What has he been doing for 20 years? In Luke 2:51 it says Jesus returned to Nazareth with his parents and was submissive to them. Luke also records that Jesus (Luke 2:52) increased in wisdom and stature (age and physical maturity) and in favor with God and man.”
Hebrews 5:7-8 tells us that in the days of his flesh, Jesus offered prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears… and that he learned obedience by the things he suffered. I don’t know if the loud cries and tears is referring only to the crucifixion or not, but it’s clear, Jesus matured and grew just like we do.
As Jesus grew, he learned to be submissive to His earthly parents. It is now time for Jesus to leave His earthly parents and become submissive to His heavenly Father. In so doing, although He had no need of repentance from sin, God His Father wanted Him to be His Words, alive, and in the flesh and the light to display what was hidden. His baptism was the first act toward that objective.
Jesus told John, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.“ (Matt 3:15) Jesus was acknowledging that He was willingly submitting to the Father’s plan. He was choosing to do what His Father was planning (Phil 2:8) even to the point of death. 2 Cor 5:21 talks about part of what that plan was. He became sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God. Jesus fulfilled righteousness by becoming the perfect sacrifice, in order that He could take upon Him our sin in exchange for that righteousness He fulfilled.
At the very on set of his ministry Jesus was submitting himself to the objective of His father, and was willing to be what His father needed Him to be in order to fulfill all righteousness.
In being baptized Jesus also identified himself with John’s message, and identified himself with sinners who responded to John’s message in faith.
As Jesus submitted Himself to His Father’s plan, God did something remarkable to encourage His Son and to affirm His commitment. God verbally affirmed His Son, telling Him how proud He was of Him, and He sends the Holy Spirit to indwell Him.
Paul challenges us in Phil 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, that was also in Christ. Though being God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself and became a man. As a man, he humbled himself by being obedient to the point of death. What kind of attitude did it take to do that? Where was Jesus focus?
This is my son…. As a father, I am never more proud than when someone says, “He looks like you…”
As God’s child, He loves you and wants you to know He is proud of you choosing to live for Him. He has sent you the Holy Spirit to enable you to fulfill His call on you. Now it’s time to live up to what God has called you to do.
That’s my prayer for you today.