did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit
himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance
for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission
we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody
death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and
the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners.
Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out
of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission
of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?
God the Father proclaimed his entire delight in his Son and spoke
audibly for all to hear. The Holy Spirit, too, was present as he
anointed Jesus for his ministry which began that day as he rose
from the waters of the Jordan river. Jesus will be the source of
the Spirit for all who come to believe in him. At his baptism the
heavens were opened and the waters were sanctified by the descent
of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, signifying the beginning of a new
How can we enter into the mystery of Jesus’ humble self-abasement
and baptism? Gregory of Nazianzus, a seventh century church father
tells us: “Let us be buried with Christ by baptism to rise
with him; let us go down with him to be raised with him; and let
us rise with him to be glorified with him." Do you want to
see your life transformed by God's grace? And do you want to be
an effective instrument of the gospel? Examine Jesus’ humility
and ask the Holy Spirit to forge this same attitude in your heart.
As you do, heaven will open for you as well and the Father will
anoint you with his life-giving Spirit. The Lord is ever ready to
renew us in his Holy Spirit and to anoint us for mission. We are
called to be “light” and “salt” to those
around us. The Lord wants his love and truth to shine through us
that others may see the goodness and truth of God’s message
of salvation. Ask the Lord to fill you with his Holy Spirit that
you may radiate the joy of the gospel to those around you.
"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and inflame my heart
with the joy of the gospel. May I find joy in seeking to please
you as you found joy in seeking to do the will of your Father."