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Matthew 3:13-17: Jesus is Baptized

Posted by adventbiblestudy on July 2, 2012


Matthew 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him. (14) But John restrained Him, saying, I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me? (15) And answering Jesus said to him, Allow it now, for it is becoming to us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he allowed Him. (16) And Jesus, when He had been baptized, went up immediately out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. (17) And lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

As Jesus approached the Jordan river, He paused for a moment along the road. Slowly His eyes gazed over the landscape taking in details of its simple beauty. Stately trees with leaves of jade, nourished with the reliable waters of the Jordan. Grass slowly swaying in the breeze. Flowers of purple, red, and blue adding a distinct contrast to the carpet of green. A butterfly fluttering from flower to flower, seeking nectar while carrying the next generation of pollen along its slender body. The vidid colors singing out praises to God as it unfolds it wings which had just been folded in prayer. Jesus thought of how vulnerable such a tender creator is. So small, colorful and defenseless. Jesus smiled as He pondered the message the butterfly spoke to Him. He knew the life of the butterfly reflected His own. Although surrounded by others, He would be alone. His life like the colors of the butterfly could not help but attract attention. His life, like that of the butterfly was totally reliant upon God for protection. Jesus knew this was His last chance to stand alone in His thoughts during the light of day. Jesus knew His next steps would change His life, and the world forever.

As He approached the side of a hill Jesus took a deep breath, and spoke in His normal tone of voice, “Father I am ready,” . As He came up over the brink, He paused again. This time His eyes fastened upon another display of colors, those worn by a group of priests sent to gather information about a strange man with even stranger actions and words. To many this man was simpley known as John the Baptist.

The priests in their stately robes were gathered to His left, while people from all walks of life waited patiently on His right. In the middle, about fifteen or twenty paces out in the river stood John with a small group of men helping people in and out of the water. Jesus turned to His right, walked down the hill, and quietly waited in line with the others listening to their comments as John spoke in a load, clear voice about repentance, water, the Holy Ghost, and fire. People around Him asked one another, “is this the Messiah? Is this the one the scriptures tell about? Are we about to be freed from bondage and oppression?”

One by one the people filed into the water, accepted baptism from John, and come out praising God, giving thanks for new hope in their lives. As Jesus began to enter the water a look of awe fell upon John’s face. He pointed and declared, ” behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.

John struggled against the weight of the water as he tried to run to Jesus. As he reached Him, John kneeled before Him, grasping Jesus’ waist and said, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” Jesus answered, “Allow it now, for it is becoming to us to fulfill all righteousness.”

John stood up and turned around as Jesus began walking to deeper water. They walked in an embrace with each placing his arm on the others shoulder. As they paused, the clouds began to separate. Jesus stood in the water with His right shoulder against John’s chest, both His hands grasping John’s right hand as John’s left hand was across Jesus’ back. John let Jesus into the water back first. As Jesus came up out of the water, “the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. And lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Why was Jesus’ baptism by John part of God’s plan? If you think of it, Jesus, the Son of God was baptized by a human. What does John’s miraculous birth and education by God have to do with Jesus’ baptism?

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