THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD: Feast
First Sunday in Ordinary Time
I. Reading: Isaiah 40:1-5.9-11: The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all mankind shall see it.
II. II. Reading: Titus 2:11-14. 3:4-7: He saved us by the cleansing water of re-birth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit.
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16. 21-22: While Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened.
The Baptism of Jesus: Obedience and God’s Approval, Lk 3:21-22
Jesus’ baptism pictures what happens when a person makes a decision for God. Baptism is both obeying God and securing God’s approval. This is why Jesus was baptized, and it is why we are to be baptized.
1. Jesus’ Obedience (v.21)
a. Obedient along with the people
b. Obedient in prayer
2. God’s sings of approval (v.22)
a. The heavens were opened
b. The Spirit descended
c. The voice of God spoke
Thought: Every person should respond to the gospel of God. That is, he/she should seek God to forgive his/her sins, repent, and be baptized. This is God’s will for every person. All should obey God fulfil all righteousness. Baptism is an act of obedience; it is obeying God right along with other believers. God’s own Son had to obey Him; He had to be baptized as a sign of obedience to God. When we genuinely obey God and are baptized, God is pleased. We also secure His approval in the same three ways:
i. God opens heaven up to us and gives us a very special sense of His presence and we are cleansed of sins.
ii. God manifests and reveals His Spirit to us.
iii. God’s Word is heard. He continues to speak to us day by day as we seek His will in the Bible and prayer (Rev. 3:20; 1Jn 1:3).
Thought: God meets the needs of His servants for assurance. He sees to it that we know His Will and gives assurance that we are doing His Will. He speaks to our hearts and gives signs of approval and encouragement. Every true believer is commissioned and empowered by God’s Spirit to do the work of God.