THE OBEDIENT KING
Merciful God, as I study Your Word each day, may I grow strong in the truth, able to resist all falsehood.
Read MATTHEW 3:13–17
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectIn a moment of quiet contemplation, fix your mind on Jesus. Which aspects of his character and nature come to mind? Praise him for those things.
Why does Jesus come for baptism? John is rightly puzzled. He rec- ognized that Jesus, the ‘one more powerful’ (vs 11, 13), had no need for a baptism of repentance because he had never turned away from God (v 14). Jesus cites obedience as his reason (v 15). Jesus’ life on earth, until the moment of death, was continuous obedience (Philippians 2:8). Through his baptism, the sinless Jesus is showing his willingness to identify completely with sinful humanity. Just as later, on the cross, he would carry our sin and face the judgment that we deserved.
From the beginning of the Gospel, Matthew has emphasized the royal lineage and destiny of Jesus. Now, through the baptism and heavenly confirmation, Matthew signals that God’s obedi- ent servant-king promised by Isaiah, has arrived. Verses 16 and 17 need quiet contemplation. The visible presence of God the Spirit and the audible voice of God the Father fulfill the words of Isaiah 42:1 but unveil a greater mystery. Jesus is confirmed as Son of God. We see the triune God, in heaven and on earth, united in their redemption task.
Sing or listen to the words of Graham Kendrick’s ‘The Servant King’. As an act of worship, let’s offer Jesus our day, allowing him to set (or change) our plans and asking the Holy Spirit to help us obey our King.
Gracious Father, I have made my claim to follow Jesus. As Jesus embraced the Father’s will for Him, may I embrace Your will for me.
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