In the seminary when we had to do practice preaching, I used to get super-uptight. I remember one time I had to get up in front of my classmates and the homiletics professor. I had worked for weeks on the sermon and I had memorized it down to the very last word.
But once I got in front of my classmates and the professor, my nerves got the best of me. I had a panic attack. My mind froze and I forgot everything I was going to say. After several moments of awkward silence, my quivering voice finally said: “This morning only God and I knew what I was going to say. But now only God knows!”
I think of those three words, “Only God Knows!” because they fit in well with today’s feast – The Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17). The baptisms that John the Baptist was doing were a call to repentance. Jesus was sinless. He didn’t need to repent of anything!
So why was Jesus baptized? Besides “Only God Knows”, we can guess that the right moment in history had arrived. For the first and only time in history, Jews were being baptized. The Jews back then did not see themselves as sinners, much like many people today.
Many have said that Jesus was baptized by John in the river, not because of his sins, but because it was a time for DECISION, a time for Jesus to begin his public life. He was already 30 years old, still making tables and chairs in his carpenter shop and caring for his mother Mary.
When Jesus got into the Jordan with John, he pointed his life in a whole new direction. He went from a very private life, to the most public of all lives. Whether you and I were baptized as a baby, a teenager or an adult, baptism is a time for DECISION. Are you and I a PERSON FOR OTHERS, as was Jesus, or do we live our lives simply wrapped up in ourselves — what is good or what is best FOR ME?
Thanks to Artem Beliaikin for the picture.
Why do YOU think people today have a hard time admitting that they do things that are wrong, that they are sinners? We certainly do not have a problem pointing out the sins of others who appear on TV, especially with the turmoil that is raging in our country right now. As I have mentioned before, when we point our finger at someone else, three of our fingers are pointing at ourselves! How do YOUR words point fingers at others?
GOD CAN MAKE GREATNESS OUT OF A GREAT MESS!
I hope you heard a great Message at church today. Here is another one you can share: TreatsfortheSoul.org.