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The Adventure Link: Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? Session Twenty
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister, Covenant Community Church on Mar 26, 2004, 09:35

The Adventure Link

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?

Session 20

 

Last time we examined the baptism of Jesus. Sometimes we have not thought about the importance or the "why" of that event. Our examination yesterday gave us a lot of insight into the reasons and the meaning of baptism in the culture. Your feedback yesterday was interesting, encouraging, and as always appreciated....part of what we try to to in this ongoing discipleship, teaching, inspirational ministry called the Adventure Link is to give you another resource in your journey of faith.....lets keep going with the baptism of Jesus.

 

When Jesus appeared at the Jordan, John burst out into a litany of praise lauding Jesus as the Lamb of God. He declared that Jesus must increase while he himself would decrease, and that he, John, was unworthy to reach down and untie Jesus’ shoes. These exalted statements fell to the ground when Jesus stepped forward and said to John, “I need to be baptized by you.”

 

John was incredulous and shrank in horror at the suggestion that he should baptize the Christ. John sought to turn the tables and have Jesus baptize him, but Christ refused.

 

John’s understanding of theology was limited.

 

He knew the Messiah must be the Lamb of God, and he knew that the paschal lamb must be without blemish. What distressed him was that Jesus approached the river as a soiled Jewish person who needed to take a bath.(That really is the only perspective that we could expect John to have at this point)  The precise words that Jesus spoke to John are important for our understanding of this event: “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).

 

In these words Jesus stifles a lengthy discussion about theology. In effect he says, “Just do what I tell you, John. There is time later to seek understanding of it.”

 

Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness.

This was consistent with his entire mission to keep every jot and tittle of the law. Think about it....Jesus took upon himself every obligation that God imposed upon the Jewish nation. To be the sin-bearer of the nation it was incumbent upon him to fulfill every requirement that God demanded of Israel. Jesus was scrupulous, meticulous, indeed punctilious (how about that word?) in his zeal for his Father’s house. He was presented in the temple as an infant, he was circumcised, he went through bar mitzvah, and he embraced the new obligation of baptism that God had imposed upon the nation.

 

The baptism of Jesus carried not only the sign of his identification with a sinful people, (remember it did not mean he had sinned) but it also marked his consecration, his anointing for the mission the Father had given him.

 

In many ways His baptism sealed his doom, causing his face to be set like a flint toward Jerusalem. On a later occasion Jesus spoke to his disciples saying, “Are you able . . . to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” (Mark 10:38). He was baptized to die. He was appointed to be the sacrificial lamb, and at his ordination the heavens opened and God spoke audibly, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

 

That helps us understand who Jesus is and what He really did a bit better!

You have a great weekend, we will put the finishing touches on this series next week during the first few days of the week....

 

The adventure continues......






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