Matthew 3:13-17 Jesus is Baptized
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN.
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptised, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
We've just heard the gospel reading from Matthew which throws a great deal of light on what is needed to be a disciple of Jesus.
Jesus came to John to be baptised. He humbled Himself even though He did not need to be baptised for repentance. But in one fell swoop Jesus teaches true humility. Not the false humility of people who try to put others down but the real humility that God uses to exalt people. In the bible God tells us how He treats true humility.
Matthew 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Those who try to exalt themselves even at the expense of others will be humbled. Those who are naturally humble will be exalted by God. They don't have to scrabble for it! God will do it!
Oddly enough God puts an example of this is in the same passage for our benefit.
John shows his in-built humility in that he does not think he is worthy to baptise Jesus and tells Him so! Jesus had to persuade him to go through with it.
God says that those who humble themselves would be exalted and we should see this happen in the bible for our edification.
Well later on this is what Jesus say openly to all the people about John...
Matthew 11:11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.
Jesus exalts John in the eyes of everyone by telling them that of all the people born up till then there was no-one greater than John!
John humbled himself and God (Jesus) exalted him!
Moving on in the incident we find Jesus humbling Himself to accept baptism for repentance as an example for us today.
And what happens next? Then Holy Spirit anointed Him with POWER for the work ahead of Him!
And in John20:21 Jesus said this…
John 20:21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
When we humble ourselves Jesus promises us His kind of power to do what God wants done. His power gets results; ours falls short!
And did you notice what happened next! Did you see it? Think about it before I make it totally obvious.
God says in a voice for everyone to hear from heaven….
THIS IS MY BELOVED SON IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED!
God exalts Jesus letting everyone know – This is His beloved!
It's not just some hidden thing which no-one would know about. God exalts openly because He loves those who humble themselves.
This is God's plan for all of us. We just have to want to do things God's way and tap into His power in our lives.
When we stop trying to climb up by our own power, God just gives us His power and we go up in everyone's estimation. And no-one who is carnal and worldly can understand why it's happening!
Everyone here can see it all though, because we are following God and being guided in our thoughts and actions by Holy Spirit in us!
To us here it's just natural because we are all new creations in Christ Jesus. Any possibility for bitterness and envy goes because we have the help of God to bring us success.
We are not perfect of course and when we revert to trying to grab success for ourselves we see how it does not satisfy and we come back to God and just ask Him to forgive us and start doing it His way again!
And gradually we get better and better at it!
God's way works and brings no sorrow! That's why we follow God and can be a good example to others!
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all,