Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Holy Ordination: Priests Called For Divine Ministry

Rev. Jinu Abraham
Mar Thoma Church, Philadelphia

“.....it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness” (v.15)

Holy Ordination is the commissioning of a person as a priest for the divine ministry of the Church. Jesus Christ is the source of inspiration and the role model for a priest. In St Mathew 3: 13 -17 we see certain factors which made Jesus’ ministry meaningful.

Obedience to the will of God: John the Baptist recognizes Jesus as his superior and tries to be baptised by Him. But Jesus emphasizes on the ‘fulfilment of righteousness’. ‘Righteousness’ here means ‘doing the will of God’. That means Jesus receives this baptism in obedience with the will of His Father. It is characterised as one of the goals of discipleship (Mt 5: 20; 6:1; 6:33). In our ministry, God’s will need to be the first priority.

Solidarity with the people who are in need: John’s baptism was the baptism of repentance (Mt 3:6). It was meant for sinners. But by receiving this baptism, Jesus identified himself with the people He came to save. During His public ministry, Jesus becomes the friend of tax collectors, prostitutes, untouchables.....His mission was to seek and save those who were lost. It continued till the end of His life by dying for their sins by which He redeemed the human race. Likewise, our ministry will be effective only when we respond to the needs of people with love.

Spirit of Humility: We see a divine attestation in vs. 16 and 17. Before this, the identity of Jesus was limited within the family as a carpenter and a son. But this baptism revealed Him as the ‘Son of God’. The reference ‘heavens were opened’ shows the divine revelation and provision. The anointing by the Spirit of the Lord and the divine voice gives Him the strength and authority of unique sonship. But Jesus never misused His power and authority for His glory but was always a humble and obedient servant of the Lord whom we meet in the ‘Servant songs’ of Isaiah (Chaps 42 -53). Philippians 2: 8 says “He humbled himself even unto death”. Similarly our ministry need to be for His glory, not our glory.


Lord, help us to be humble, obedient and care for the needy. Amen.

In Christ, there is a true priesthood of all believers (1 Pet 2: 9)

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