Summary: Jesus’ baptism is a transitional point in his life. In this lesson we answer the questions why was Jesus baptized and why must we be baptized.
A. We’ve come this morning to celebrate who God is and what He is doing in our lives.
1. Hopefully, as we have been meeting the Lord in praise and prayer and in communion, we continue to experience His transforming presence and power in our lives.
2. And now as we turn our attention to His Word - May God feed us and touch us.
B. Some of the most memorable and meaningful events that happen here at Wetzel Road are baptisms.
1. And even though I’ve been privileged to participate in hundreds of them, the wonder of the moment never is lost.
2. How wonderful to see a person, young or old, stand before others and say that they believe that Jesus is the Son of God!
3. How wonderful to see that person buried with Christ in baptism. They go into the watery grave and rise out of it to walk in newness of life.
4. Just as we rejoice when a mother gives birth to a new baby, we do so even more when we witness a person being born again!
5. So many powerful, spiritual things happen during baptism – faith, confession and repentance are expressed, sins are washed away, and the Holy Spirit is given as a deposit.
C. Jay Utley, an acquaintance of mine from many years ago, told the story of the first baptism he conducted as a young minister.
1. He, himself, had been baptized as a young man, but it had been a number of years since his baptism.
2. He wondered how different it would feel to be the one doing the baptism rather than the one being baptized.
3. He nervously said the appropriate words, and lowered the person into the water.
4. When the person reached the deepest point, he felt the person’s body jolt and tighten.
5. Jay thought to himself, “Wow, so that’s how it feels when the person’s sins are forgiven and they receive the Holy Spirit.”
6. So he asked the person, “Did you feel the jolt when the Spirit came into you?”
7. “No,” the person said, “but I did feel it when you hit my head on the baptistery step!”
D. Today we are going to take a look at the baptism of Jesus.
1. As we continue our series about Jesus, we seek to develop a greater devotion to Him.
2. So far we have learned something of the eternal nature of Jesus.
3. We have examined the wonder of his birth, and the unusual silence surrounding his childhood and young adulthood.
4. So now we are ready for this important event – the baptism of Jesus.
I. Jesus’ Baptism
A. The three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), all tell the story of Jesus’ baptism.
1. The Gospel of John does not tell the story, but simply alludes to it having taken place.
B. The four gospels all tell the story of a man name John who was raised up by God to prepare the way for the Messiah.
1. He happened to be Jesus’ cousin.
2. He was a powerful speaker, filled with the Spirit of God.
3. He was an unusual man – living in the wilderness, wearing primitive clothing and being sustained by a primitive diet.
4. He called people to repent and be baptized for the kingdom of heaven is near..
5. The religious leaders didn’t know what to do with him. Mostly, they just stood back and kept a watchful eye on him.
6. The common people of the day responded to his message.
7. Those who chose to turn from their sinful ways and follow God’s direction for their lives were immersed by him in the Jordon River.
8. That’s how John got the nickname, John the Baptizer or John the Baptist.
C. Matthew wrote, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordon to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’” (Mt. 3:13-14)
1. I think we can all relate to John’s feelings at this point.
2. I often feel unworthy to do the things God is asking me to do. How about you?
3. John knows himself, he is a sinner.
4. John also has an idea of who this is – he is more than just his cousin – He is the Messiah.
5. Rather than being thrilled to be the one to baptize the Messiah, he humbly recognized that it would be more appropriate for the Messiah to baptize him.
D. Matthew continued, “Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented.” (Mt. 3:15)
1. Jesus’ response convinced John, so he baptized Jesus.