21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened. 22 The Holy Spirit came to rest on him in the form of a dove. A voice came from heaven. It said, “You are my Son, and I love you. I am very pleased with you.”
I have always been intrigued by Jesus’ decision to be baptized. It seems more than strange for the Son of God, perfect in every way, to be the recipient of a ritual that, even in his day, was symbolic of the washing of sin.
John the Baptist clearly didn’t understand Jesus’ motive either – he says he is not even worthy to untie a strap of his sandal. Nor am I worthy.
Jesus, nonetheless is baptized. With everyone else. In a muddy river. Just like all of us, he got wet. Just like me when I was baptised, he had others around him. And just like me, he probably got water in his eyes.
But Jesus is also unlike any of us. He was on the road to be our saviour, so he had to be special. He was the Son of God. God makes it plain for us at this special moment in Jesus’ life.
This makes me think about how special Baptism is to God. I wonder if this is why it is one of the few things that we are clearly commanded to do in the New Testament?
It also makes me wonder, if God waited for this moment to really declare who Jesus was, do I have enough special moments where I really celebrate a milestone? Do I celebrate who I am and who God has made me to be? Do I need to plan better for my own children to have key moments where they can have their God-given identity spoken over them?
Lord, thanks that you sent your Son to be like us, but thank you that he also was so much better. May his example in baptism lead us to all be baptised as you have called us to be.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware