“After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’” Matthew 3:16-17
Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, John 1:29-34
Have you ever received a gift so awesome that you could not wait to tell everyone about it? Maybe you brought it to school the next day for show and tell or called your best friend immediately to tell them about it. Most likely, each of us has received something so wonderful that we wanted to share it with others right away!
Baptism is exactly that. It is the opportunity to share with the world how excited and thankful you are for the awesome gift you received in salvation. John the Baptist was one of God’s greatest servants on Earth. He ministered to hundreds and prepared the people for Jesus’ arrival. John grew up with Jesus so he knew Him deeply and loved Him. But John still wanted a definitive sign that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus told him that he would know when the Holy Spirit came down and remained on Him.
When Jesus approached John one day asking to be baptized, John was shocked. Surely Jesus should be the one to baptize John, right? Finally, John obeyed and agreed to baptize Jesus. In that moment, Jesus showed His humanity and identified with all of us while portraying the importance and significance of baptism.
Instantly, the sky split open and the Holy Spirit came down as a dove, resting on Jesus. The prophecy had come true – Jesus was who He said He was. This was the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on Earth. Many of our earthly “ministries” begin in the same way: through baptism. Because we are so excited about the decision we have made to follow Christ, we get baptized in water as a public testimony of our faith in Jesus and a commitment to live our lives to serve Him.
Questions to think about:
- Have you been baptized?
- What is the significance of baptism?
- What is one step you can take toward furthering your earthly ministry?