Homily – Baptism of Jesus
Luke 3:15-22 The Message (MSG)
15 The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, “Could this John be the Messiah?”
16-17 But John intervened: “I’m baptizing you here in the river. The main character in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
18-20 There was a lot more of this—words that gave strength to the people, words that put heart in them. The Message! But Herod, the ruler, stung by John’s rebuke in the matter of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, capped his long string of evil deeds with this outrage: He put John in jail.
21-22 After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”
-Christian sacrament (ritual/ceremony)
marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community
-a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purification
-Christian sacrament signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth
-an immersion or sprinkling of water that signifies one’s identification with a belief or cause.
Do you remember your baptism?
This is what we are called to do whenever we witness a baptism… to remember our own.
How were you Baptized?
What is one word that describes your baptism?
Why were you baptized?
Some Traditions: baptism needed for salvation
It does not save us (1 Pet. 3:21). However, it is our responsibility, as believers, to receive it.
Why are some baptized by sprinkling? Pouring? Immersion?
Why was Jesus baptized?
Baptism of REPENTENCE?
Washing away sins?
- He would be recognized by his forerunner, John the Baptizer
- Showed Jesus identified with sinners
- His baptism symbolized the sinners’ baptism into righteousness
- Showed his approval of John’s baptism, and that it was approved by God.
- Symbol of the new beginning of Jesus’ ministry
Some theologians say that Jesus was also just following Jewish law… the legal requirements for entering priesthood….
- Cleansing – washing – water
- Anointing with oil – represents the anointing of the HS.
- Needed to be 30 years old
- Receive verbal blessing – God spoke this blessing.
Luke was not as concerned with the Baptism of Jesus, as he was with what happened AFTER WARDS
Luke, unlike Matthew, Mark and John never mentions Jesus in the water, or that it was John who baptized him.
Luke directed our attention to what Jesus did AFTER the baptism – his story has Jesus
IN PRAYER after the baptism and at THAT time the HS descended on Jesus like a dove…
Luke wanted his listeners to know that PRAYER was and is an important part of Jesus’ life as it should be for all of us…
And it is in prayer that we will receive the HS…
Baptism ends too soon when we focus only on the moment and forget what comes after the water has dried:
a baptism-shaped life where God’s Spirit dwells within our very bodies.
Please pray with me.
Gracious God, remind us that baptism is a symbol that we are claimed by someone special and called to do something special.
That we are God’s beloved… and God is well pleased with us…
Pour out your Holy Spirit now upon us, upon and within our bodies.
Help us to live in faithfulness to you long after the water has dried.