Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. (Matthew 3:13)
One of the curiosities about Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan is why Jesus needed to be baptized at all. The baptism John was preaching about was one of repentance and forgiveness of sins. People were coming to him to be washed clean and start anew, much like Delmar in “O Brother Where Art Thou?” who rises up out of the river and declares, “Well that’s it boys! I’ve been redeemed. It’s the straight and narrow from here on out.” So why would Jesus need this? From what does the Son of God need redeeming? Even John asks that question in the verses that follow. “I should be baptized by you,” he says.
The answer to this curiosity comes in Jesus’ reply to John, “Let it be so now, for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus gets baptized not because he needs it, but because we do, and the whole of Jesus’ life is one huge act of God’s solidarity. As one commentary notes, “Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism is presented as a righteous act of solidarity with those to whom and for whom he has come.” In other words, this is just one more piece of evidence that God became one of us, fully and completely. In Jesus Christ, God was born like us, grew like us, got tired like we do, felt pain like we do, needed to bathe like we do, laughed, cried, got frustrated, rejoiced, and was baptized just like us. He faced tension and ridicule and death. In every way shape and form, God became flesh and bone and lived among us. Now that is a God who really cares.
Published on 01/16/2017 @ 4:37 PM CDT