Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 30: Baptism - Luke 3:21

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

At His Baptism Jesus is anointed with the Spirit as God’s Son. Only Luke notes Jesus’ praying at the time of His baptism. Jesus in prayer is one of the special themes of Luke. Luke specifies that the Holy Spirit descended “in bodily form.” To John, it was a sign. Two other times the Gospel writers record the declaration of a voice from heaven addressing Jesus; on the Mount of Transfiguration and in the temple area during Jesus’ final week. (see John 12:28)

How many baptisms are there? Luke emphasizes the anointing of the Spirit in connection with baptism. The Holy Spirit comes to us in and through our baptism. In our lesson “water baptism” and “spirit baptism” are mentioned. In verse 16 John the Baptizer says he baptizes with water but a greater than he will baptism with the Spirit and fire. Water and Sprit baptism are one and the same. The Spirit comes with the Word manifested by the sign of water. Baptism is essentially as spiritual matter, a covenant between God and the believer. It is not a mere external matter of applying water to a person. You are a true and complete Christian by virtue of your baptism. This is your birthright, where faith is born. It’s purpose and power cannot be taken away from you.

Father in Heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS used by permission for private and congregational use
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved
Collect for the Baptism of our Lord – Series A - Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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