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Summary: When we join a sports team, start a new job, or join with a group of people, we wear the "colors." On a job, you may have to wear a uniform, have a dress code, or wear a name tag or badge. This identifies who you are "loyal" to. Baptism tells the world wh

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Seek First; Step One

Matthew 3:13-17

I. The Coronation vs.13 a ceremony marking the investment of a monarch with regal power through, amongst other symbolic acts, the placement of a Crown upon his or her head. Where the monarch is anointed.

A. Why did a sinless Jesus have to be baptized?

1. Jewish Baptism

Baptism is not a new concept originating with Christianity. Rather it’s and ancient and essential element in the Jewish faith as well. Immersion in water for ritual purification was established for restoration to a condition of "ritual purity" in specific circumstances. For example, Jews who (according to the Law of Moses) became ritually "defiled" by contact with a corpse had to use the mikvah before being allowed to participate in the Holy Temple. Immersion is required for converts to Judaism as part of their conversion. Through practices such as these, immersion in the mikvah represents purification and restoration, and qualification for full religious participation in the life of the community.

In ancient Jewish culture, even before Christ comes on the scene, baptism is very important. The Jews were set apart by God. They were God’s holy people. When a gentile…someone who wasn’t a Jew…wished to convert to Judaism and become one with the Jewish people he/she was baptized to signify a transition had taken place. They were no longer what they used to be, but they were a new person…they were now identified with the Jews.

So along with ritual purity, the baptism practiced by the Jews was for the purpose of identifying people with the Jewish faith and people.

2. John’s Baptism

Enter John the Baptist. John was Jesus’ cousin and was the fulfillment of the scripture that a prophet in the style of Elijah would appear and preach repentance when the Messiah was to come.

John was preaching a call to repentance…a returning to God and God’s original destiny for the Jews…that they would be his chosen people RE-PRESENTING him to the world/nations around them.

John called for people to repent (turn around and change directions) of their sins and to be symbolically purified through baptism

3. The Baptism of Jesus

If John was preaching a baptism of repentance, then why Jesus was baptized. He had no sin; he was the Son of God. Why would he need to be baptized? Before we delve into that, let’s look at Matthew’s account of the baptism of Jesus.

What was the point? Why would Jesus choose to be baptized? He didn’t need to repent. He didn’t need the symbolic act of being cleansed from sin – he was without sin. He didn’t need to identify with God – he was God. So why did Jesus come to be baptized by John the Baptist?

When Jesus came to the river to be baptized by John it was a powerful moment in. John has been preaching and baptizing a baptism of repentance from sin. Jesus had no sin, but as he is preparing to begin his ministry he chooses to identify with us. He comes and is baptized by John as a way of identifying with those he came to save, those who were not connected with God…US.


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