The Baptism of the Lord

Pastor's Summary of Matthew 3:13-17

John the Baptist has appeared, calling people to repentance, to turning back to God's ways, to the way of life to which Israel committed herself at Sinai. He tells of the nearness of God's kingdom, the time of complete fulfilment of God's promises to humans. a new era, in which God rules, is almost here! John seeks to disuade Jesus from seeking baptism but Jesus insists: for the present, being baptised by you is to perfectly fulfill the Father's will. In being baptised, Jesus joins the community now walking in God's ways. His baptism shows his continuity with God's will seen in the Old Testament: (1) the coming of the Spirit of God; (2) the words spoiken by the heavenly voice are much like Isaiah 42:1: Jesus is the agent of God who will suffer for others-not the kind of Messiah people expected. The voice says three things:(1)Jesus really is God's Son; (2) he is chosen for ministry to God's people, and (3)God approves his coming for baptism and his joining with his people in preparing for the coming crisis.