THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Psalm 29:1-4, 3, 9-10
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus had no need of the baptism of repentance but because he was obedient, he asked John to baptize him. When he did, the Father and the Holy Spirit were manifested and the Father identified Jesus as his Beloved Son. Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit so that we could be baptized.
Unlike John who called himself, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Jesus did not cry out in the streets. He was gentle and meek: “a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench.” But he was so much more powerful. The heavens would be opened to him. He would bring light to the nations, open the eyes that are blind, and bring from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Today we see that God needed a man to perform the work of baptizing Jesus. God chooses us and wants to make us co-workers with him in the world so that others can have eternal life. Anyone can perform a baptism and surely, we should all consider the new life that our baptism has brought to us. We received the Holy Spirit and our sins were washed away. We have the hope of the eternal life given to the children of God. Today, let us rejoice in our own baptism because it is a gift we could not earn. As John declared, “I need to be baptized by you!”