Baptism of the Lord
January 12, 2003
Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7 II:
7 He preached to the people saying, "After me there will come one who is
mightier than I am;
8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you in the Holy
Spirit. As for me, I am not worthy to bend down and untie his sandals."
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth, a town of Galilee, and was
baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 And the moment he came up out of the water, Heaven opened before him
and he saw the Spirit coming down on him like a dove.
11 And these words were heard from Heaven, "You are my Son, my beloved
one, whom I have chosen."
- (v.9) John's baptism is an outward expression of repentance for the
forgiveness of sins. Though Jesus is without sins, He too stands in line
with the penitents of Israel. Jesus identifies himself with a movement
of the people back to God.
- (v.10) "Heaven opened". The opening of the heavens symbolizes the end of
the separation from God and the beginning of communication between heaven
and earth(Isa 63:19).
- (v.10) "the Spirit coming down..like a dove". The image of a dove is used
in several ways in the Old Testament. A first-century rabbinic tradition
explained the Spirit hovering over the waters at creation(Ge 1:2) with
image of a dove. Thus, Jesus' baptism by the Spirit symbolizes a new
creation of the world . In Songs 2:14, a dove symbolizes God's love for
- (v.11) God's words echo several quotations from the Old Testament. Psalm
2:7 speaks of the Messiah as " You are my Son". In the Servant Song of
Isaiah 42:1, He is called " behold my servant, whom I have chosen, in
whom my soul delights". Thus, Jesus is the Messiah, anointed by the
Spirit to rule all nations, the Servant who has been appointed to deliver
his people, and the beloved Son of God. God's words solemnly affirms
Jesus' status and his mission.
One Main Point
Jesus of Nazareth is revealed directly by His Father to be the Son of
God. Jesus is the voice we should listen to.
- Placing myself at the Jordan river, I imagine that I am standing in
line with the penitents of Israel. How do I feel, knowing that Jesus
stands in the same line with me?
- In my life, I am exposed to the teachings of many conflicting groups.
Whose teachings has influenced me in my actions?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community