Summary: EPIPHANY 1 - God's Son is baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus came to his Father's work. The Father praises our humble worker.

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January 9, 2011 -

Epiphany 1 -

MATTHEW 3:13-17

INTRO: Mankind’s sinfulness needs God’s forgiveness. Jesus came into this world as the very love and mercy of God. Jesus did not travel from place to place with fanfare. Jesus did not have an earthly army to display his strength. Jesus did not travel with servants who took care of his every need. It was a challenge for the people of Jesus’ day to believe in this man from Nazareth as the King of kings and Lord of lords. From time to time the disciples argued who was the greatest among them. Jesus had to remind them that God does not determine greatness with the same measurement mankind uses. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (MARK 10:45). Jesus came to do his Father’s will. Jesus even followed the laws of men. Jesus who lived as the fulfillment of God’s will and every prophecy comes to the Jordan to be baptized.


I. Jesus came to do his Father’s work. II. The Father praises our humble worker.


A. Verse 13. “Then” connects us to the previous verses. John was preaching repentance.

1. God’s kingdom was near. God’s judgment was approaching. John warned the people.

2. After all of this “then” Jesus comes to be baptized. What a surprise – epiphany.

B. Verse 14. John is always, ever humble. John is sinful, imperfect. Jesus is sinless, perfect.

1. John is shocked Jesus would ask John to baptize him. John knows Jesus ought to baptize him.

2. John and Jesus discuss the request. “John tried to deter…” John tried to change Jesus’ mind.

C. Verse 15. Jesus takes charge. It will be so. Jesus came to do his Father’s work for all righteousness.

D. This was not a false humility shown by John. John truly felt unworthy. He saw his own sinfulness. Oh, that we had more attitudes like John the Baptist today. All too many consider themselves above any blame or fault. In fact, we often are quick to blame others for our own mistakes or shortcomings. We are all too anxious to switch the blame away from us. That is, if we are even willing to admit our own sinful-ness. We know how our society tries every way it can to not call sin, sin. We can fall into that same trap of denial. "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check" (JAMES 3:2). We are all sinners. We all need Jesus, our Savior.

E. When we honestly look at ourselves we see our many sins. We know that we cannot earn any of God’s free forgiveness. We also know that we do not even deserve any of God’s free grace. In spite of our daily sinning God sent his Son to carry out his miraculous plan of salvation – for us and for all of humanity. The Perfect has taken away our imperfection. The Sinless has removed the punishment of our sinfulness. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 CORINTHIANS 5:21). God’s Son is baptized “to fulfill all righteousness” for us.

F. Jesus came to do his Father’s work because we fail miserably to do everything God desires. Jesus came to the Jordan to be baptized. Jesus showed everyone there and everyone for all ages his obedience in carrying out his Father’s will. Jesus is our Savior. He willingly obeyed his Father. Jesus willingly did everything that we could not do in order to give us eternal life. Yes, this means that we look at ourselves and discover the depths of our own sinfulness. It also means that we look to Christ Jesus who can and does save us from our shortcomings. "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect" (1 PETER 1:18,19). Our forefathers handed down to us a sinful nature. Our heavenly Father handed down to us his Son to be our Savior.

GOD’S SON IS BAPTIZED. Jesus came to do his Father’s work -- for us.


A. Verse 13. What a scene this was. John was preaching a message of repentance.

1. Crowds from the surrounding area came out to the Jordan to see this preacher.

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