And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,[a] and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,[b] with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 (ESV)
In re-reading Max Lucado’s book, 3:16 I came across a section I don’t remember delving into before. Each day for 40 days he takes his readers into a part of Jesus’ life.
The thoughts on Jesus’ baptism intrigued me.
Baptism wasn’t a new practice. It was a required rite for any Gentile to become a Jew. (1)
John thought he should be baptized by Jesus; not the other way around. However, Jesus did get baptized because He was fully human at that point.
Jesus underwent baptism for us, you and me. This was a prelude to his going to the cross. A friend at church puts it this way: “We owed a debt we can’t pay. He paid a debt He didn’t owe.”
Do we look at baptism in the right way or have we watered it down? Do we look at it as a sign of an inward life-changing experience or do we look at it as just joining another group? We who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord should communicate the seriousness of this step in the walk with Christ to those who wish to enter into the Christian life.
1. Max Lucado, 3:16, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, © 2007 page 150