Following the Example
The Baptism of Jesus
A TV remote control
But Jesus said, "It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires." So John agreed to baptize him. Matthew 3:15 (NIV)
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I love my TV remote control. Any time I watch TV I keep the remote nearby. If I miss something, I can hit the rewind button on the remote control and my smart TV will let me go back and watch it again. Sometimes I may want to hit the pause button so I can go get a snack. When I come back, I can hit the play button and pick up right where I left off. Today, I want to begin our Bible lesson by hitting the rewind button and go back a few Sundays and take a quick look at our lessons of the past few weeks.
Our lessons for the past several weeks our lessons have been about the birth of Jesus. In fact, we even learned that even before he was born, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him that Mary was going to have a son and that they would name him Jesus. Next we learned that Joseph and Mary journeyed to Bethlehem and Jesus was born and laid in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn. The next week we studied about some Kings who were searching for the Christ child that had been born so that they could worship him. We also learned that the wicked King Herod wanted to kill the baby Jesus, but an angel helped Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus to escape to safety in Egypt.
Now we are going to hit the fast forward button and we are going to look ahead and see Jesus as a grown man. In our lesson today, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River where a man named John was preaching and telling people to confess their sins and be baptized. Jesus came to John and asked to be baptized.
John was amazed that Jesus would ask to be baptized and tried to talk him out of it. "I am the one who needs to be baptized by you," he said, "so why are you coming to me?"
Jesus answered, "It must be done, for we must do all that God requires." So John agreed agreed and baptized Jesus.
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the Bible tells us that the heavens were opened and the Spirit of God descended from heaven like a dove and settled on him. Then came a voice from heaven saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist because it was important for him to do all that God had sent him to earth to do. Was God pleased with him? Yes he was and he said so. If Jesus thought it was important for him to follow the will of his Father, don't you think it is important for us to follow the example Jesus set for you and me to follow? Let's make that our goal as we begin the new year.
Heavenly Father, as we begin a new year, help us to follow the example Jesus set for us and live a life that is pleasing to you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.