In this section of Matthew 3, Jesus comes to be baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River. John “protests strenuously” according to the Amplified Bible, stressing that he (John) needs to be baptized by You (Jesus).
But Jesus asks John to do it so that He (Jesus) can “perform completely whatever is right.”
When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened and John (according to the Amplified Bible) saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him (Jesus).
And then God HIMSELF spoke from Heaven and identified Jesus — “This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight!” (Amplified Bible). Wow!
Here’s what caught my attention:
– Jesus is all about doing what’s right, doing the Father’s will. He talks about this a lot during his ministry.
– Arguing with Jesus is futile. It’s not that He always wins (because He NEVER forces His will on any of us), but He’s always right. Obey Him and you’ll have peace and contentment. Disobey Him and you’ll lose your peace and end up discontented. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.
– Making the decision to obey God, especially when it’s not an easy choice, comes from having a different perspective, a perspective of trust–believing that God loves you and wants what’s best for you–and KNOWS what’s best for you.
– Sometimes obeying God brings revelation that allows you to see things others can’t and helps you hear and recognize God’s voice more clearly.
– Your obedience brings God joy.
Questions to think about:
– Where does God’s will for you fall on your list of priorities when making decisions?
– When was the last time you argued with God? What did you decide to do? How did it affect your life?
– What do you believe about God’s love for you when choosing to obey Him is not an easy decision?
– When has an act of obedience resulted in a new revelation or perspective? What did you start to ‘see’ differently? When has it brought a clearer recognition of God’s voice?
– How does it make you feel to know that your decision to obey God in a particular instance brought Him joy?
Matthew 3:13-17 / Living Bible (TLB)
13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized there by John. 14 John didn’t want to do it.
“This isn’t proper,” he said. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you.”
15 But Jesus said, “Please do it, for I must do all that is right.” So then John baptized him.
16 After his baptism, as soon as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God coming down in the form of a dove. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, and I am wonderfully pleased with him.”