Summary: Jesus and John the Baptist talk about why Jesus needs to be baptized.
Conversations With Christ #1
“A Cousin’s Quarrel”
Draw attention to the brochure regarding the series.
Since I am celebrating my 56th birthday today, I thought you might enjoy a portion of a list published by columnist Dave Berry entitled “17 Things That It Took Me Fifty Years To Learn.” I agreed with ten of them…so here they are:
1. You should not confuse your career with your life.
2. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well…just get up and do it.
3. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.
4. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
5. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often…that individual is crazy.
6. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of
age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.
No matter what happens, someone will manage to take it too seriously.
The most powerful force in the universe actually seems to be gossip.
Never lick a steak knife.
10. Always remember, your real friends love you anyway.
Let’s look at our text found in Matthew 3:
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 lighting on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus Christ. Their mother’s were sisters. John’s ministry as a prophet preparing Israel for the appearance of Jesus is recorded in all three gospels. Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3 and John 1.
John was a powerful preacher, a unique personality, a persuasive leader.
When Jesus came to be baptized by him… what went on between them was more a confrontation than it was a conversation.
I am particularly impressed with Jesus’ words; “Let it be so now!”
In other words; “Knock it off John. Stop protesting and just do it!”
Jesus goes on to give John an explanation for his impatience that needs some further explanation for a modern audience.
“It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
What does that mean?
Whatever it meant, it was good enough for John.
The last sentence of verse 15 shows John shuting up and baptizing Jesus.
What does this confrontive conversation between too cousins have to do with you and me today?
John’s agenda can be summarized in these two verses:
"The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
“And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance under the Old Covenant…an oblation, a cleansing from the SIN OF APATHY toward to anticipation of Messiah coming.
He preached that ANTICIPATION produces ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN GOD’S PLAN RATHER THAN APATHY OR INDIFFERENCE.
Did you hear about the company that makes blank bumper sticker? They’re for people who don’t want to get involved!
Look at Luke 3:8-9
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
APATHETIC CHRISTIANITY REFERS TO THE PAST NOT THE FUTURE.
Think a minute about the Vulture and the Hummingbird. They both fly over our nation’s deserts. All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet.
But Hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants.
The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone.
But Hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life.
Well, each of these birds finds what they are looking for…so do we!