Summary: Lessons learned from the Baptism of Jesus wrapping up with a brief lesson on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Gospel of Luke 3:21, 22
We are in a message series on the Gospel of Luke
The word “gospel” literally means “good news”
So, you could say that this series is about “The good news of Luke”
What exactly is this good news?
Simply put, it’s the life story of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most influential person who has ever existed
Even if you’re not a Christian, or even a particularly religious person, you cannot deny this fact
No one life has affected the whole of humanity more than Jesus Christ
Since He has affected the world so deeply you would think that all of us would know a lot about Him, but unfortunately that is not true
Many claim to know about Jesus, but in reality few people really do
The Gospel of Luke details the events of Jesus’ life from His birth to His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection
Luke is written by a Gentile to a Gentile audience
Since the vast majority of us listening to this message are Gentiles I think it’s very appropriate that we study this Gospel
Today we’re going to be looking at Luke Chapter 3
At the beginning of chapter 3 we read about Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist
John is an interesting character, living in the desert, wearing clothes made from Camel hair, and eating locusts & honey
Even though these characteristics may make us questions John’s mental stability, he had a very vital role to play in Jesus’ ministry
John was the prophet foretold about in Old Testament prophecy that would precede the coming of the Messiah
John’s message was simple – prepare the way of the Lord
In other words, get ready because the Messiah is coming!
In addition to preaching John also was baptizing people
Why was he doing this?
We tend to think of Baptism in the Christian context – that once we’ve received Christ as our Savior we follow His command and be baptized in water
But how many of you knew that baptism was something that had been practiced among the Jews as well?
To the Jews baptism was an act of ceremonial cleansing
All priests were required to go through this ceremonial cleansing before they began their ministry in the temple
Anything used in the service of the temple – clothing, utensils, furniture, etc. – also went through this ceremonial baptism
John’s baptism was a little different though
The baptism of John was a baptism of repentance
This is not to be confused with a Christian baptism – Christianity did not exist yet
John’s baptism was simply calling people to repent of their sins and get ready for the coming of the Messiah
So, in picking up our story, John the Baptist was at the river Jordan baptizing people when suddenly his cousin Jesus showed up
Now before I continue let me tell you that what I’m about to preach I fully believe to be the truth, however I admit that I may not fully understand all the theology involved.
I could easily be wrong, but in prayerful consideration I believe what I’m teaching is true – if I ever find out different I will let you know
Let’s continue in …
Luke 3:21-23 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.
What exactly is going on here?
Obviously Jesus came to John to be baptized, but why?
I know John was wondering the same thing because in the Gospel of Matthew John said to Jesus “You don’t need to be baptized by me, I need to be baptized by you!”
Let’s think about this for a moment
Why did Jesus need to be baptized?
It certainly wasn’t because He needed to be cleansed of anything or repent of sin
2 Corinthians 5:21 clearly stated that Jesus was sinless – there was nothing to be cleansed or repent from
When John made his statement that he shouldn’t baptize Jesus but that Jesus should baptize him Jesus’ reply tells us why He needed to be baptized
In Matthew 3:15 Jesus told John it was to “fulfill all righteousness”
In other words Jesus was saying “we need to do it because it’s the right thing to do”
Why was it the right thing to do?
Remember when I said that all priests had to go through the Jewish rite of baptism before they could enter in to their priestly duties?