Google+ 01/13/13 The Time is Now!

Matthew 3:13-17

 

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.

But John tried to talk him out of it.

“I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”

But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.”

So John agreed to baptize him.

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened

And he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.

 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 

 

Today is the day that most Christian churches celebrate the baptism of Jesus.  One of the things we really overlook in our celebration of this special day is what John the Baptist says to Jesus before His baptism.  Jesus has gone south from Galilee to be baptized.  This is an intentional act, not something that happens because of circumstance or close proximity.  All four Gospels relate the story of Jesus' baptism with unquestioned historical verification.  The Greek word for baptize is "baptista," which means to dip or immerse in water.  Here is the very valuable part of Scripture that we often miss.  John forbids Jesus to be baptized and tries to talk Him out of it.  Who does John the Baptist think he is anyway?  John the Baptist is exactly who God ordained him to be.  He was to be the announcer of Christ's arrival.  He was to baptize all that repented of their sins with water.  Jesus had no sin.  He had nothing to repent from or of.  For this reason, John forbids Jesus to be baptized and proclaims himself unworthy to perform such an act.  The tense of the Greek verb here emphasizes that John tried to hinder Jesus from being baptized.  This was no casual hesitation.   Jesus recognizes John's authority, given to him by God, but points out a very important fact to John.  John must baptize Jesus because God requires it.  That was enough for John the Baptist.  So, the baptism was carried out as God ordained.  Everyone was faithful and God was pleased.  How do we know?  God says so in our Scripture today.  By Jesus' obedience, the heavens were opened up to Him and the Spirit of God descended upon Him.  You know, we can have the same revelation.  Many of us have experienced this very thing.  Baptism is about obedience and publicly proclaiming our belief in Jesus, God's only Son.  When we do this, the Holy Spirit descends upon us and God is well pleased.  Reaffirm your "new birth" day with God.  Thank Him for His grace and mercy.  If by chance, you have not been baptized, "John the Baptist" is waiting for you.  If you have questions, email me or see a minister at your local New Testament Church, right away.  God is waiting, but He won't wait forever.  The time is now!