Word For The Day By Christian Education Forum


Matthew 3:8-12
This chapter elucidates the ministry of John the Baptist, in the Province of Galilee, where the ruler was Herod. John the Baptist preached repentance and summoned people for confession of their sins and forgiveness from God through baptism. He also emphasized the moral and ethical life of the people. He was preparing the people to walk in the way of the Lord and he raised hope and expectation to the desperate and despised people and thus leading the people towards the Kingdom of God, which is going to be initiated by his follower Jesus Christ. He also reminded the impending doom to those who deny his message. While hearing the ministry of John, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, though he was a sinless one. Why did the sinless Jesus take baptism from John as the sinful people received?

Three things can be derived:

1. He identified himself with the Godward movement of the people: He acknowledged the importance of repentance and change of life from their sinful ways through baptism. Jesus Christ was not identifying himself with the sinful people but with the repenting people through baptism. Jesus Christ was totally a man for others. Taking baptism from John, Jesus accepted the ministry of John and the positive response of the people.

2. Jesus Christ Acknowledged the mission and ministry of John the Baptist: Jesus acknowledged John as a “servant” of God, a “messenger” from God to proclaim the word of God and thus preparing the way of the Lord through a Godward people movement. By taking baptism Jesus recognized and acknowledged the mission of John as one who fully submitted to the will of God. This is a lesson for us also. We need to give due respect and recognition to the mission and ministry of a person, who prepares the people for Godward movement. This reveals his respect, humility, and obedience, considering others better.

3. The Floodgate of Heaven opened to Jesus: There were rare occasions in the Bible where the heavens opened and God spoke. It was a personal experience of Jesus and not of the crowd. In Mark the voice speaking directly to Jesus “You are my beloved son” and in Mathew “This is my son”. Jesus was always conscious about the goal and the mission for which God sent him to this earth. Jesus never deviated from that goal. The personal voice of acceptance, he received from God is the voice of confirmation, it is the voice of acknowledgement for his obedience, humility, respect for others, and solidarity with the people. Let us affirm with Paul that our attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ. Then our God will also accept us as the children (sons & daughters) of God.

Prayer: Lord help us to be identified with the Godward movement and acknowledge the mission and ministry God has entrusted us to do. Amen

Rev. Dr. John Panickar P.L, Toronto

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