Luke 3:21-38; Ezekiel 42-43; Isaiah 63
Beginning points always fascinate people. When someone becomes famous we want to see how they started. One of the greatest start-up stories of all times is that of Apple Computer. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne began working in a garage on the company we know of as Apple. You may have heard of Jobs and Wozniak. Have you heard of Wayne? He started with the other two, but after a few months sold his share of Apple for less than $1000. Apple continues to be one of the top electronics companies in the world with major innovations in all fields of electronics.
The beginnings of Jesus’ ministry go back to the days of John. While some of the other gospels go into more depth on the interaction between John and Jesus Luke keeps it simple: “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too.” It was the baptism and the action around it as John proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah – well, perhaps not in those exact words – that signaled the beginning of his ministry. Jesus immediately took some time off to go into the desert and we’ll see more about that tomorrow. The baptism of Jesus began the whole story as Jesus rose in prominence and John became less important. Few people were there. Few remembered. Jesus began with an act of obedience to the Father. He identified with all those who had already undergone John’s baptism of repentance for sins. He gave us an example to follow for all time.
Baptism is the visual beginning of our walk with Christ. We use baptism to proclaim to the world that we identify with Christ. Baptism shows that we have repented of our sins. It does not show that we are perfect. The walk with Christ is a long walk. It begins when we turn to Him and doesn’t end even after we die because then we’ll be walking with Him hand in hand. Some take detours but He still seeks and guides His children in ways we don’t always know. As we get ready to begin a new year, take the time to re-examine your walk with Christ. He gives you the chance to start new every day so if you’ve strayed away from that life you know you should be living, you have the chance to return to Him.