Sunday, August 8, 2021

The Baptism of Jesus

 Mark 1:9-12

(story in all 4 gospels - shows importance and significance!!)

Putting all 4 accounts together we learn.....

(1)  Jesus came FROM Nazareth in Galilee.  (about 43 miles) - to the place where John was baptizing.

(2)  He came TO be baptized!! - Matt. 3:13  - purpose for the journey

(3)  John objects - Matt. 3:14

(4)  Jesus' reply - Matt. 3:15  - "fulfill all righteousness" 

(5)  Holy Spirit descends on Him
   "like a dove" (form? appearance?)
   "as He was praying"
   "in Bodily form"
Luke 3:21-22

(6)  A Voice  "from heaven" - (Matt., Mark, Luke)
Matt.  "this is my Son..."
Mark and Luke  "You are my Son...."
Question:  who heard the Voice?  Jesus?  John?  Others?

(7)  John the Baptist SAW the Spirit - John 1:32-34  (confirmation!!)

(8)  Luke adds  - Luke 3:23  "about 30 years old"  - baptism at the beginning of His ministry

Question:  What's the significance of "dove"? 
Answer:  sign of Divine Anointing ... (for His ministry)
Isa. 42:1  "...spirit on Him...."     Luke 4:14-21

Before ministry = temptation by Satan!  (Matt., Mark, Luke)

So... WHY was Jesus baptized??

On one hand, symbolism = washing away sin
However, with Jesus = NO NEED!!

So... back to Matt. 3:15 - "proper for us, fulfill righteousness"  - mild paraphrase = "it's the right thing for us to do"

Exactly why it's "right thing" ???  Don't know!  BUT .... in baptism ...
    (1)  Jesus identifies with John - validates John's ministry, John's message

    (2)  Jesus identifies with mankind - ie.  doesn't exclude Himself from something He'll ask all followers to do!!  Heb. 2:14-15

    (3)  Jesus models humility - He didn't HAVE to submit to baptism

 All this leads to a deep theological consideration ...

ie:  THE DUAL NATURE of Christ
ie:  He was FULLY MAN and FULLY GOD ... at the same time!!!  = incredible mystery!!

On one hand, He was (fully) Human!   normal pregnancy, birth, growth - Luke 2:40, 52
Experienced weariness, hunger, thirst ... AND DEATH!!
Rose with same physical body (though glorified) - Luke 24:36-43
Ate after the Resurrection!!!  Ascended with same body!!!  - Acts 1:9
had human mind, emotions.... frustration, sorrow, grief....

On the other hand, He was (fully) DIVINE - (ie  God .. at the same time!!)
John 1:1, 20:28, Heb. 1:8, 2 Pet. 1:1  Isa. 9:6
Was a HUGE thing for a Jew to declare Jesus God

How Possible???  - don't know - 1 Tim. 3:16
On one hand, beyond our comprehension
On other hand, beyond comprehension DOES NOT mean beyond possibility!!

.. IF you can accept  this, you can see that .... - (this is the mystery of Christianity)

#1)  As MAN, He is our perfect MODEL - for mankind
Heb. 4:15  (again)  "tempted.... yet without sin"
So... 'What Would Jesus Do?" WWJD => What should I do?

#2.  As God, He was the Perfect Substitute
Who could pay for sin except God?
So.... Phil. 2:6-8 - (emptied self of Privileges, not of Deity!! 

#3.  As the God-Man, He is the Perfect Mediator 
ie.  understands man's weakness!,  needs,
as well as God's demands

Therefore, can represent God TO us perfectly
and, can represent US to GOD perfectly
Heb. 4:14-16, 1 Tim. 2:5

He's the perfect Lord, Master of your life!!

Closing scripture:  John 20:24-29

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