We move forward in Jesus’ life. He is no longer the small child being smuggled in and out of different locations by his parents. The scene opens with the introduction of someone new in the narrative. We are introduced to John the Baptist and his ministry.
Despite eating bugs and having a questionable wardrobe, people went out to hear what John had to say. Again the Old Testament is tied into the New Testament as we see a reference to a prophecy from Isaiah 40.
The ministry of John is seeing people confessing their sins and being baptized. We also pick up on some tension between John and these Pharisees and Sadducees.
John references something more to come beyond what he is teaching people. He talks about someone who is more powerful.
There is an interesting exchange between John and Jesus. Jesus comes to be baptized by John but he tried to deter Him. John recognized Jesus as the One whom he had been “making a way” for. Jesus is baptized by John and something really cool happened. Heaven opened up, the Spirit of God descended, and a voice from Heaven spoke words of affirmation over Jesus.
John simply pointed people to Jesus! There was nothing flashy about what he did and people came from all over to hear. Why? Because the message of Jesus is one that stirs something up in people. We need not add anything fancy to it in order for it to be effective. This is encouraging! It means as we keep it simple in sharing with others about Jesus we know the power is in the message and not our abilities.
Jesus being baptized is something significant. As believers, our baptism is an external display of the internal change and transformation that takes place when we surrender to God. Baptism is a powerful step of obedience! Jesus being baptized should eliminate any questions for us regarding our need for it. If Jesus had to be baptized it is important for us too.
The words of Heavenly affirmation spoken over Jesus upon His being baptized is telling. What if certain feelings or a lack of affirmation and identity from our Heavenly Father were tied directly to our unwillingness to take this important step?
God thank you for Jesus! Today I pray that you would use me like John to point people to Jesus. Help me to rest in the power of the message and not get caught up in my own abilities. Search my heart God and show me where my obedience is lacking. Give me direction. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen!