The Word This Week

Matt 3:13…

We can only wonder what it was that led Jesus to come to the place where John was preaching a message of repentance and water-baptizing those who were confessing their sins.

But one thing we know for sure is Jesus is always present when genuine repentance is taking place.

In this case, He walked the miles from Galilee to the location along the Jordan River where the repentant crowd was found. It must have really been a sight for Jesus to behold. We can only imagine the joy that filled His heart over the hopefulness of this occasion.

A great work was being done by John, who had been filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. In utero, he had encountered Jesus before – and leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary arrived at his mother Elizabeth’s home. At that time, Mary herself pregnant with the Christ-child.

Now they encounter one another again. It is an amazing setting, and it sets the stage for all that is to follow in the historical accounting of Jesus’ three years of ministry upon the earth.

In between Jesus’ birth and His appearing on this day, we know very little about His life. We see the scene in Luke 2 when Jesus at age 12 remained at Jerusalem at the Temple as his parent’s entourage returned to Nazareth following the Feast of Passover.

But other than the birth accounts, that’s all we have – until now.

Now 30 years old, Jesus appears suddenly again upon the world stage to begin His ministry as High Priest and King of the Jews. His appearance had been prophesied hundreds of times in the Old Testament – and this day was the fulfillment of not only those prophecies – but also everything John the Baptist had been declaring about how the kingdom of heaven was at hand.  

The kingdom of heaven was in good hands, and we see it here. People often wonder why it is Jesus desired to be water-baptized when the baptism being offered was one of repentance? Of course, Jesus had no need to repent of anything. But the Bible speaks of many types of baptisms, and even in this setting, water-baptism is designed to accomplish its purpose in each individual.

For those looking to the arrival of Messiah, water-baptism was opening the heart for the coming King.

For Christ the High Priest and King, water-baptism was His following the Law pertaining to His ordination.

The Holy Spirit and the Father concurred and participated, making this both an amazing and also a wonderful moment when the veil of the most Holy Place was pulled aside for a brief moment allowing us all to see.

Pastor Bill