Baptism of the Lord- B, 1/8/06
Jesus Came to Jordan
hen Jesus joined with his cousin John at the Jordan River a lot of things were cleared up. John only seemed to have part of the plan so Jesus came with another chapter in the story that God was unveiling. Actually, even today we are waiting on another chapter to be completed.
We have something resembling an early released edition of a forthcoming book, but the completed edition is not available at the time of Jesus’ baptism by John.
Prior to Christmas a friend, and new church member, brought me a “galley edition,” of a new C. S. Lewis biography, the NARNIAN, that he purchased from a bookshop. I had never had a pre-released book. I started reading and enjoyed correcting their typos. Two weeks later another friend sent me a final edition hard copy with all of the typos corrected. I have continued to read the galley copy. I have enjoyed finding the typos. I hope it is not too much of a stretch to say that the very first followers of Jesus did not at the time of Jesus’ baptism understand the direction that the Christ Event would take.
Our Bible gives us a wide sweep of Christian theology and understanding. Our basic message is clear and plain. I read an article this week in National Geographic’s “VISUAL HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Its article entitled, “The Central Message and the Early Church,” “Christianity’s central message, however, is the belief in the incarnate son of God. Jesus Christ, who suffered and died on the cross for the salvation of mankind and was resurrected.” Only after the Passion and Resurrection did Jesus explain the plan that God had put in place to save all persons.
John understood that much more was going to happen as he attempted to explain that, "one greater is coming after me." (v. 7)
When Jesus came to Jordan to be baptized, John made it clear that Jesus is the one who has come after me and who will usher in the remainder of God’s plan of salvation. (v. 9)
Then, before the crowds left the river bank, the Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove and God the Father’s voice boomed out, “You are my beloved Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. (v. 12) No doubt many of John’s former disciples became followers of Jesus and many of those who had receives the baptism of repentance, also followed Him. We are in a similar stage of following Jesus but we are not totally informed.
Of course, in today’s world we have the completed Bible, and we have the inward assurance that the Holy Spirit gives us. In Glory we will read that final chapter and know.
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor