Reading: Matthew 3:13-17
Verse 13: “Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.”
Returning to the story of Jesus’ baptism found in Matthew 3, today we consider another angle to the story. Reading verse 13, we understand that Jesus took the initiative. He left where he was and traveled to the Jordan River. He came with a purpose as he waded into the water. Jesus’ purpose was different than anyone else’s. Emerging from the waters, we see that God praises Jesus. Why was this action pleasing to God?
Part of the reason is because Jesus was modeling something for us. He did this so that we would have an example to follow. Doing so, Jesus modeled the importance of baptism, an entry point into the faith for most people. Baptism symbolizes a heart commitment towards God. The other reason that Jesus waded in was also to model something for us. In a world concerned with power and status, Jesus flips the script. The one who should be doing the baptizing is baptized by another. Here Jesus reveals the depth of humility that would typify his ministry. It caught John off guard. Again and again, people in places of power and position were taken aback by Jesus’ humility. Those without power and position were drawn to his humility.
Humility continues to stand out in our world today. Pride and ego and an inward focus are more the norm. Seeing an owner clean a toilet or vacuum up a mess, seeing the leader stop to take time for one who is struggling, seeing someone with little giving to someone with less – these acts of humble, servant leadership stop the world in its tracks. It brings pause to those with power and position and it draws those without. As disciples of Jesus Christ, may we choose to daily model his humility and love for the other.
Prayer: Lord God, when the opportunity comes to step down into the river or to get outside my norm or comfort zone, lead me by the power of your Spirit. Use me as you will, O Lord. Make me a servant. Amen.