Messiah-ship declared in baptism

Published 2:21 pm Thursday, December 31, 2009

Scripture: Matthew 3:1-17

Aim: To instruct the pupil regarding the fact that Jesus’ Messiah-ship was declared in His baptism.

Golden Text: “And lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased'” (Matthew 3:16b-17).

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As we begin this new year, let us remember that the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger grew and developed into the perfect man (never committing sin—Sin is anything which is out of harmony with God and His Holy Character).

He grew and developed “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

Here is spiritual development, physical development and social development. Jesus grew into manhood as the Carpenter from Nazareth.

As was true for all priests in Israel (Luke 3:23), Jesus began His public ministry when He was about 30 years of age. The inauguration, the beginning, of His public ministry as the Messiah (the Anointed One of Jehovah God) was a trip to the Jordan River to see John the Baptist.

I. John the Baptist began preaching six months before Jesus began His ministry (Matthew 3:1-12). John was six months older than Jesus (Luke 1:35-36). He had been preaching for six months before Jesus came to Him for baptism.

The authority for the ministry of John the Baptist was the divine call of God, which had been prophesied by Isaiah (40:3) about 800 years before (Matthew 3:3). The message he was focusing upon was that men should repent because the Messiah was coming (vs. 1-2). John did not go into the towns and villages. He preached in the “wilderness” and people flocked to hear him and to be baptized by him. He must have appeared to be a prophet like Elijah. He wore clothing made from camel’s hair and a leather girdle. His diet was “locusts and wild honey” (vs. 4, more than likely the locust bean, although, the insect, locust, was eaten by some).

Men who came to hear John confessed their sins and were baptized by him in the Jordan river (Matthew 3:5-6).

The religious leaders came because of John’s popularity as a prophet. They wanted to be baptized, but John called them to repentance before they could be baptized (vs. 7-10).

John told the people that Messiah was coming and he would baptized men with fire and the Holy Ghost (vs. 11-12). This indicated both judgment and salvation. At that time Jesus arrived.

II. Jesus is baptized by John (Matthew 3:13-17). After declaring that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, John submitted to baptizing Jesus (vs. 13-14). Upon coming up out of the water after immersion into the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus (vs. 16), and the heavens opened. The voice of God the Father declared, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (vs. 17).

Here the Holy Trinity gives testimony that Jesus Christ is the one who was promised through the ages. This is only one of many instances that show that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God. This is a further proof that Jesus Christ is the Messiah promised throughout the Old Testament.

When Gabriel the angel spoke to Joseph, Gabriel told Joseph that this child to be born of Mary was “Emmanuel”—”God with us” (Matthew 1:23). To Mary Gabriel had declared before conception that her Child would be named “Jesus,” He would be the “Son of God,” and He would rule forever upon the throne of David (Luke 1:31-33). Here we have One who is God and at the same time is man. Jesus Christ is the Messiah-King that shall rule over men forever! Have you submitted to Him as your King yet? Why not do it today? Amen!