Scripture Reading — Matthew 3:1-6, 13-17
A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” — Matthew 3:17
In a muddy little river in the desert, Jesus was baptized by his cousin John. To the Mediterranean world at that time, this was an insignificant, unnoticed event. But this scene along an isolated bend of the Jordan River portrayed a key moment in God's plan of salvation for our fallen world.
Jesus didn't need John's baptism of repentance. Unlike those gathered at the Jordan—and us—Jesus was not conceived and born in sin. John must have known this, because he hesitated to baptize Jesus.
So why did Jesus insist on receiving John's baptism?
In this baptism at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus acknowledges John as the final prophet of the Old Testament preparing the way for the Messiah. And although Jesus was without sin, he identified with the sin and shame each of us face apart from God, shame that ultimately resulted in his death on the cross for our sake.
Because he accepted the shame of our sin, we hear the Father's voice as Jesus came out of the water: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
Because Jesus took on the shame of our rebellion against God, now God says to you and to me, "You are my child." Keep this in mind today as you seek to please God!
Jesus, God’s beloved Son, by taking on the shame of our sin, you have made us God’s children. Help us today to please you and the Father, to your glory. Amen.