Saturday, January 12, 2019

Epiphany 1 - The Baptism of our Lord

(First Sunday after the Epiphany)  
13 January, 2019
Luke 3:15–22
In Baptism we receive the whole Christ

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 into 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

At His baptism Jesus received the Spirit and heard God declare that He was God’s Son. It was an experience in which Jesus heard the voice of His Father. For us, our own baptism too is an experience in which we communicate with God. Baptism is more than an objective affair. In baptism we are given the Spirit which enables us to will and to do the Father’s good pleasure.

Our society seems almost at times obsessed demanding to have only natural products (examples). When it comes to our Savior He gives us that one thing needful. He gives us Himself.

1. John becomes the Forerunner of Christ.

A. John’s ministry had people asking whether he might be the Christ. The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ (v.15)

1. They were in expectation.

2. John’s preaching had accomplished its purpose. “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” (Vv.7-14)

B. John’s response to their question “Not me”

1. One mightier than he is coming. In comparison to Jesus, John is not worthy. John answered them all; “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come. The thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. (v.16)

2. His work will be greater than John’s

a. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. (v.16c)

b. He will bring in the harvest and separate the wheat from the chaff. The harvest will be in His hands.

2. Jesus is the one who is to come – the Christ.

A. Jesus’ baptism is a public proclamation of His ministry.

1. Jesus becomes the central figure. He must remain the central focus in all we do. In this New Year may Christ be the center of everything we do. May our focus be on Him. 

2. The witness of the Spirit is shown in His descent as a dove.

3. The blessing of the Father is on His “beloved Son”. “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:1)  The baptism of Jesus was his official initiation into the messianic office. With the descent of the Spirit comes His anointing for the work He will do. 

B. Jesus’ work begins for us as the beloved Son.

1. He is the real deal. 

2. This, His first act of His ministry Jesus publicly receives His commission – to enter our world and be our Redeemer. 

3. He must be the center of our lives as our Redeemer. His baptism proves this. As He entered the waters He entered into your world. He took to Himself your flesh which means He took all of your hurts, your sorrow, your concerns as His own. Walking into those muddy waters of the Jordan Jesus carried them all.  

In the final analysis, nothing matters except this One who was baptized in the waters of the Jordan. He was not an imposter or traveling preacher. He was the One to whom all the prophets pointed for He is the Beloved Son of the Father.

Passive Sentences-7%
Reading Level-5.3

Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
Lutheran Service Book © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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