Summary: We look at Jesus’ baptism, how the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness, and how He began to preach the Good News (Gospel) of the Kingdom. This week's liturgical calendar text.
THE BAPTISM & PREACHING OF JESUS
1. A kindergarten boy was trying to write down the most important things that had happened to him over the summer. He asked his dad, a preacher, how to spell ‘God.’
2. His dad smiled with pride, thinking what a great thing it was he had so much influence on his son. So he gladly spelled, “G-O-D.” The boy wrote it down. Then he turned to his father once more and said, Now, how do you spell ‘zilla’?”
“9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” “12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
1. We’re looking today at Jesus’ baptism, how the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness, and how He began to preach the Good News (Gospel) of the Kingdom.
2. The title of this message is “The Baptism & Preaching of Jesus.”
I. WHY WAS IT NECESSARY THAT JESUS BE BAPTIZED?
A. TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS
Matthew 3:14-15, John said, “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.
1. First, this shows Christ’s GREAT HUMILITY; that He who knew no sin would submit to the baptism of repentance. John thought it ought to be the other way round: that he should be baptized of Christ, because prophetically, John was Christ’s forerunner, the announcer of Christ.
2. John himself had prodigious achievements: he was one of the few ever filled with the Holy Ghost his mother’s womb, Luke 1:15; Jesus said he was the greatest ever was born of woman, Mt. 11:11, and he led the way for the reawakening of Israel, Mt. 11:12.
3. But Christ was now in a state of humiliation: He had emptied himself and made Himself of no reputation. Therefore, let him be baptized by John; as if he needed to be washed, though perfectly pure; and he was made sin for us, though he knew no sin.
B. THE MEANS OF RECOGNIZING THE MESSIAH
1. The second reason Jesus must be baptized by John was that this was the means of His being revealed to Israel. John was not certain who the Messiah was until he saw and heard the divine recognition. John said, “And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit’” John 1:33. Messiah & Christ both mean Anointed One.
2. In addition, John heard the Father say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” Matt. 3:17. John also saw “heaven being torn open” Mk. 1:10. The Greek word used is s????µ????? and references cloth being ripped in two. The Father ripped the matter of the universe to admit a deluge of the Spirit directly from Heaven onto Jesus.
C. JESUS SET AN EXAMPLE FOR US
1. The Book of Acts (1:1) says that Jesus “began first to do, and then to teach.” He practiced what He preached. He set us an example (John 13:15) of what we’re supposed to do as Christians. Jesus said, “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master” Mt. 10:25. He was willing to be baptized and his followers must follow the same pattern.
2. Also, Christ’s baptism fulfilled the righteousness of the ceremonial law. Ritual baths were conducted for the ritually impure and for converts to Judaism (Heb. 9:19). Christ’s submitting to baptism fulfilled all points related to ritual purification.
II. THE SPIRIT’S LEADERSHIP IN JESUS’ LIFE
“12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
A. SEPARATION TO GOD
1. God’s good Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness, vs. 12. Why? If we would know more of God, we must get alone with God. God is not to be found in the works of man, but He’s more easily found in nature (i.e., Psalm 19:1-3). All during His ministry, Jesus went out to “solitary places.” “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mk. 1:35).