Summary: If we follow the example of Jesus, God will reward us.
The Example of a Messiah
Text: Matt. 3:13-17
1. Illustration: A Sunday school teacher was trying to demonstrate the difference between right and wrong to her young teen class. She chose stealing for her example. The teacher said: "All right let’s use this example. If I were to go into a man’s pocket and take his wallet with all his money, what would I be?" A teenager in the back freely offered the answer, "You’d be his wife."
2. We need some good examples today. Unfortunately, we tend to look at people like rock stars, athletes, and politicians as our examples, some of which are very poor examples to follow.
a. Some of them are alcoholic, drug addicted; a criminal person whose lives are not worth emulating.
b. While they claim that they never asked to be anyone’s role model, their position and fame makes them fair game to put on a pedestal.
3. The good news is that we have a role model to follow who have never made a mistake, and will never let us down. His name is Jesus!
4. In our text today, we see Jesus give us some great examples to follow. He gives us:
a. The example of submission
b. The example of humility
c. He even gives us the results of following his example
5. Read Matt. 3:13-17
Proposition: If we follow the example of Jesus, God will reward us.
Transition: First, we see...
I. The Example of Submission (13)
A. Jesus Went From Galilee
1. This text begins with what seems like a fairly simple, straight forward verse, "Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John." However, a deeper look tells us some extraordinary things about the character of Jesus.
a. First, Matthew tells us that Jesus "went from Galilee to the Jordan."
b. This was a distance of about 70 miles. No problem, that’s like going to Akron, right? Yes, on foot!
c. The distance from Galilee to the Jordan river was a long journey on foot, and undoubtedly took several days.
d. For Jesus to make this journey for the purpose of being baptized by John showed significant motivation on his part. It shows "a firm sense of purpose" (France, NICNT: Matthew, 119).
2. Second, we should notice that Jesus went to the Jordan "to be baptized..."
a. Why would Jesus seek to be baptized?
b. Hebrews 4:15 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
c. John’s baptism was one of repentance, but Jesus has no need to be baptized because he had never sinned. So why would Jesus go out of his way to be baptized?
d. The answer, I believe, is to lead by example. He is submitting to something that he would later require of all his disciples.
e. If Jesus was willing to submit to baptism, even though he did not need to, then we should be willing to submit to baptism also.
3. A third aspect of Jesus character that is evident here is that Jesus not only came to be baptized, but to "be baptized by John."
a. Jesus came specifically to John to be baptized.
b. Jesus was compelled to be baptized, but not just to be baptized. He was compelled to be baptized by John.
c. He was to identify Himself with John’s ministry. He was the Messiah, the Lamb of God, being proclaimed by John.
d. Although he was greater than John, which John had already proclaimed and will declare that to Jesus in the next verse, yet he submitted himself to John’s ministry in order to connect himself with the one who was to prepare the way for him.
B. Submitting to God
1. Illustration: I recently ran across a wonderful quote about submission. "Submission. That word has received such a bad reputation that we rarely use it. It is the willful act of yielding to the power, control or authority of another. Submission is a voluntary act. It is a critical part of the learning process. Submission is a key concept in the Bible. To be true followers of Jesus, we must learn to be submissive."
2. Submission is a true act of worship.
a. In worship, we are submitting to God our emotions, wills, and bodies.
b. There are times when we don’t "feel" like worshiping God, but we submit ourselves to him in worship and he lifts up our spirits bringing us closer to him.
c. Anytime we submit to God we are in essence worshiping him by indicating that he is greater than ourselves.
3. Submission is voluntary.
a. It is not forced or coerced.
b. You willing submit yourself to another out of obedience to Christ.