GodReflection: God Breaks In Monday
Fueled by wild honey and the delicacy of locusts—surely he at least roasted them—John’s message was as unique as his diet.
God is about to break into His world again.
Through the prophet, God drew the people like a magnet. Matthew records the excitement: People went out to him from Jerusalem, and all Judea, and the whole region of the Jordan.
As crowds listen—large numbers believe his message. (Religious leaders turn their backs in scorn as they wrongly assumed only they understood God.)
Hard hearts rejected and soft hearts responded.
To get ready for Jesus Messiah the repentant confessed their sins, and went into the Jordan River with John.
Day after day John proclaimed God’s message.
Day after day, the river overflowed with people cleansing their hearts in preparation for Messiah.
John proclaimed to large crowds what he heard from God. Upon the climax of his message, he invited the people to follow him into the river. Hundreds of penitents believed and entered the water.
It’s as if Jesus surprised John. John didn’t seem to know what was about to take place.
John—an extended family member—was aware of the circumstances of his own birth. Surely, he heard the stories about the Divine happenings that surrounded the birth of Jesus. One thing he knew without doubt—he was unworthy to baptize the son of God.
What John didn’t know was that God hovered near. He was about to break into the baptism with a visible and audible blessing that attested to His presence.
I listen again to Matthew’s description:
But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, 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, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Here is what I think.
This is an “Aha” moment.
When God breaks into a baptism and audible speaks, I want to take note.
It makes me want to live in response to John’s sermon and in response to Jesus’ submission.
John reminds me that only in the mode of consistent repentance can I follow Messiah Jesus. It’s not enough to have a calendared day in my past when I repented. It is daily recognition of my Adamic genes at work. It is a daily confession of need to live under the cleansing blood of God’s son.
Yes, my salvation is through God’s grace. Baptism is the sign through which I declare my trust and obedience to God. I understand the Apostle Paul’s symbol found in baptism of the death, burial, and resurrection.
However, Jesus reminds me of addition value found in the symbol. In the act of baptism, Jesus demonstrated his trust in the Father and received God’s endorsing power to begin his earthly mission.
It is in following Jesus’ act that aligns my will with the Father so that God’s rightness transforms my life and draws me to follow Jesus into the water of the Jordan.
In stillness I listen back to baptismal water of a young boy in New Mexico, I think I hear through the voice of time the God of heaven break into a baptismal scene with affirmation, “Because of your faith in Jesus, you too are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection On God Breaks Into Baptism.