The Miracles of Jesus
February 20, 2021 – 1st Sunday in Lent
Water & Word
(The Baptism of Jesus)
Not many of us remember our Baptisms unless we were Baptized as an adult. I actually have a photo (see above) of my mother holding me in her arms at our home in Chicago on my baptism day. That would have been sometime in early July of 1951.
As Christians, we believe that The Holy Spirit enters us at Baptism and lives with us throughout our lives as our guide and our helper. He helps us to curb our sins and can be a disciplinarian.
It’s interesting to think about the fact that Jesus, the Son of God, was baptized:
9One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
12The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, 13where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.’
Jesus was baptized by (His cousin) John the Baptist for a purpose. It was the beginning of His formal ministry. The triune God was there. God the Father was there when the heavens opened. Not only Jesus heard the words spoken from heaven by the Father, but so did John the Baptist (John 1:32). “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
God, the Holy Spirit, was there too. “As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove.” And, of course, Jesus was there, in person.
Jesus’ Baptism was a sending. His Father stated He loved Him and trusted Him enough to take our place. Redemption began here at Christ’s Baptism and was completed at Calvary.
Jesus was now equipped for His ministry and was immediately sent into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. Here Jesus did battle with the devil for 40 days. It was a non-stop attack in which Jesus, God, and man not only survived but was the victor.
Several years later, Jesus would once again be the victor. By dying on the cross and rising from the dead three days later, He overcame sin and death for us.
It’s important to note that without Baptism, without faith, and knowing who Jesus is, there is no victory over death for humankind. That’s why in Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus says, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to us through the waters of Baptism. Help us hear your words of love as we go into the world and make disciples of all nations. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen