Genesis 7-9 Matthew 3
“At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River and wanted John to baptize him. But John tried to stop him, saying, ‘Why do you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!’ Jesus answered, ‘Let it be this way for now. We should do all things that are God’s will.’ So John agreed to baptize Jesus.” (Matthew 3:14-16 NCV)
The baptism of Jesus is an interesting story. John’s out in the wilderness preaching repentance to a generation that understood a relationship to God being one of following rules and regulations. His purpose was not to make the people better rule followers, it was to prepare the hearts and minds of the people for the coming Messiah. Then Jesus, the Messiah, showed up wanting to be baptized. John recognized who He was and offered what would have been a powerful picture of the transfer of power by telling Jesus that He should baptize John. What an amazing way to show those assembled that authority had changed and that people should listen to Jesus. Jesus refused that offer and acted in obedience, submitting to baptism at John’s hands. The end result of that was an amazing spiritual display as people saw Jesus being baptized, heard the voice of the Father declaring Jesus to be His Son, and saw the Holy Spirit descend on Him like a dove. John realized the greater things God had in store for Jesus.
I’m probably taking this idea out of context, but as I read this, I was reminded of how we begin our relationship with God. We hear Jesus saying that He wants us to accept Him as Savior and Lord. We don’t realize the enormity of that request in most cases and either blow it off, or agree, because it seems like the thing to do. We may remember the word picture when Jesus said, “behold, I stand at the door and knock” in the Revelation. Perhaps instead of blithely accepting Jesus, we should marvel at His request, and then, as the thief on the cross said (in paraphrase): “Lord, I need You to accept me.” We don’t, perhaps, because deep down we understand the grace of God that reminds us that God has already accepted us in spite of our sins, and His offer includes forgiveness and cleansing from our sins.
Lord, I’m amazed that You accept me in the midst of my sinfulness. Help me to accept all the fullness of grace, love, and forgiveness You extend to me.
cripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.