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Summary: Jesus submits to the Father in baptism, although as John pointed out, he had no need to be baptized (he was without sin). However, Jesus is righteous by doing what is "right" and sets the example and standard for us.

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1. [Cannonball Baptism on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3CDhJZSKmY

2. Baptism is a hot topic in Christian circles

a. [There is a story of an early Restoration preacher who would ride the train to many of his appointments. Whenever possible, he would seek out a Methodist preacher and a Baptist preacher. He would begin a discussion on baptism -- immersion or sprinkling? Once he got the debate going he would slip away and let them argue.

b. Baptize is an Anglicized word that means "immerse."

3. Matthew 3.1-17

I. John: The Opening Act -- Preparing the Way for the LORD (as Isaiah 40.3)

A. John's Preparation was for the LORD -- Luke 1.76-80

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people

in the forgiveness of their sins,

78 because of the tender mercy of our God,

whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace."

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

1. In the wilderness (desert)

2. LORD = YHWH; therefore, Jesus is LORD, God

B. Purposes of Jewish Baptisms (Hebrews 6)

A little girl wanted to get baptized but her mother wanted her to attend some classes to make sure she knew what she was committing herself to. After one of the classes, her mother asked, "Honey, what does baptism mean?"

Thinking hard, the little girl the finally said, "Well, it isn't the water that makes you clean ..." she began.

The mother thought, "Yes, she understands."

Then smiling brightly, her daughter quickly added, "...It's the soap."

We know -- 1 Peter 3.21

1. Conversion of a Gentile -- "Born Again" (Nicodemus' confusion in John 3)

2. Ceremonial Cleansing of Priests -- Leviticus 8.6; and Anointing in 8.12

3. Ceremonial Cleansing of the People -- Prior to entrance into the temple

4. A Baptism of Repentance and Remission of Sins by John --

And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3.3

a. Baptism Deals with Sin

b. And Judgment -- Matthew 3.5-10

C. Places of Jewish Baptisms -- Living Water

* River [Baptism @ Jordan River + Traditional site

* Lakes as the Sea of Galilee [Pic of Sea of Galilee

* Mediterranean Sea (Ethiopian in Acts 8) [Pic of Mediterranean Sea

* Mikveh via Aqueducts (as in Qumran and the Essene Community) [Mikveh at Qumran

* Self-immersion with a witness

II. Jesus: The Main Attraction

A. John to Decrease; Jesus to Increase -- John 3.30

B. Why Was Jesus Baptized?

1. He had no sin; was not a Levitical priest; was not a convert; not told it was for ritual purity

2. He was beginning his ministry -- Mark 1.1

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, Luke 3.23

a. Sanctification for service as Aaron -- Not Levitical Priest but THE High Priest


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