Due to inclement weather the lesson for the Adult Bible Study is posted online today, January 8.
January 8, 2017, Adult Bible Study – Matthew 3: 13-17
W – A – T – E – R
See also: Matthew 5:7; 28:19-20; Romans 6:4-5; I Samuel 15:22; 2 Kings 5:13-14, Hebrews 5: 8-9
Wilderness Preacher – vs. 1, 13 John had chosen to preach in the wilderness. He wanted to distance himself from the establishment and its corruption hidden within religion. His wilderness sojourn would become a model for first century saints who wanted to withdraw from the worldly order to be close to God.
Application – v. 13 In the queue of applicants for baptism there is a newcomer. It is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus could have chosen to identify with the established order of religion or with the sinners who were genuinely seeking a renewed relationship with God. Jesus chose the humble path.
Turnabout – v. 14 When John sees Jesus he is convicted of his own need to humble himself before the Messiah. Yet, Jesus insist that he would be omitting part of the will of God for his life if he were not to submit to John’s baptism. How many of us fail to ask if we are omitting the things God would have us do to remain in a right relationship with God?
Engulfing – v. 16 Scholars and churchmen have debated the what, how, and why of this simple act of baptism. In these verses there are simple answers. Jesus counted his baptism as one of the things he would do to please God, and he asked his followers to do as he had done. When we read the words “he came up out of the water,” we understand Jesus was immersed bodily in the Jordan river.
Revelation – v. 17 The seal of God’s approval abides upon Jesus. There is a vision of the descent of the Holy Spirit, and there is a witness from God that this is the beloved Son.
Example: One popular songwriter penned the lyrics, “Give me that old-time religion, it was good enough for Paul and Silas, and it’s good enough for me.” In that old-time religion baptism marked one’s conversion from a worldly life of sin to a life of service to God and fellow humans.
photo: “The Baptism of Jesus by John” by Joseph Shepard on http://www.flickr.com