GodSpeak for the Week of January 12
The Baptism of Our Lord
As we approach the season of Epiphany (and the season of Lent, which comes immediately after), we pause for one Sunday to consider the importance of why our Lord was baptized just as He calls us to be.
Day 1…Read Romans 6:1-4
- Consider this – it is one of the oldest heresies of mankind to think that because God has shared with us His promised intention (i.e., that He has saved us through Christ) – why should we worry about sinning anymore? God has “shown us his hand” (to borrow a card game phrase). Why not just live the way we want to live (i.e., sinful), knowing that He has bound Himself to a promise He cannot break?
- Answer this – what is
Paul’s answer to this ancient and persistent heresy?
- Since, even Paul would admit that we can’t stop sinning, what is he really trying to say here? What does he mean when he says: “By no means!”
Day 2…Read Romans 6:5-11
- Consider this – legend has it that Martin Luther once said: “When you wash your face, remember your baptism.”
- Answer this – what is Paul’s point in this part of the passage?
- Consider this – compare what Paul is saying here with what he said in vv. 1-4.
- Answer this – now, how do we “stop sinning” and live the lives God has created us to live and saved us through Christ to live?
Day 3…Read Isaiah 42:1-4
- Consider this – here the
prophet is clearly (and can only be) talking about Jesus Christ.
- Cf./read Matthew 12:15-21
- Consider this – God
through Isaiah promises that His servant (Jesus) among other things:
- …will not cry or shout out (v. 2)
- …a bruised reed He will not break (v. 3)
- …He will not falter or be discouraged till He establishes justice on the earth (v. 4)
- Answer this – think specifically about how Jesus accomplished all of what God promised through Isaiah.
Day 4…Read Isaiah 42:1
this – God promises through Isaiah that He will put His Spirit on Jesus.
- That Hebrew word (“ruwach”) literally means things like: breath which animates life; giving specific gifts; the energy of life.
- Answer this – why would God want and need to give this gift to His Son? What did God’s giving of His Spirit to Jesus animate/energize Him to do with His ministry and life on earth?
Day 5…Read Matthew 3:13-17
- Answer this – why was it important (and necessary) to Jesus that He be baptized?
- Consider this – what was the purpose of John’s baptism? Who was making the effort in John’s baptism?
- Answer this – how did the
Baptism Jesus experienced change Baptism for the rest of us since?
- Now, who is making the effort in Baptism? What is its purpose?
Day 6…Read Matthew 3:13-17 (again)
- Consider this – as soon as Jesus was baptized, He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove on Him.
- Think again – from Day 4/Isaiah 42:1 what the Spirit does to a person.
- Answer this – look at what follows in Matthew’s gospel from this episode…what does the Spirit animate/energize Jesus to do?
- Answer this – what is the Spirit animating/energizing YOU to do, because of what God has done for you by joining you to Christ’s death and resurrection through Baptism?