Jesus was a real person who came from a real place called Nazareth in the province of Galilee. He was baptized in a real river, the Jordan. In other words, Jesus story is more than story; it is history. Yet more than history, it is God’s saving history. A special part of that history is Jesus’ baptism. His baptism is important for a number of reasons. It is a signal of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. It is an opportunity for God to affirm his Son. It is a way for Jesus to identify with people seeking to be ready for the coming of the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. It is a way for Jesus to fulfill righteousness. For us, however, there is another great truth about Jesus’ baptism: it is something we can join him in doing if we truly turn our lives toward God as those who came to John did. God’s saving history demonstrated in Jesus can intersect our lives. What a blessing of grace!
Something dramatic, earthshaking, and eternally significant is happening in Jesus’ baptism. All who witnessed this event, and all of us who read about it, can’t escape the power and significance of this moment. Heaven is opened. The distance between God in heaven and mortals is collapsed. The Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove on Jesus to show God’s approval, blessing, and anointing of Jesus as his Son, the King. Jesus’ baptism is a turning point-not just for Jesus, but for us as well. Our baptism, though clearly not as dramatic as the Lord’s, is a turning point, too. We need to think about the significance of both the Lord’s baptism and our own.
Phil Ware, Heartlight Magazine