The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Baptism of Christ (readings for Sunday, Jan. 13, 2007)

with 4 comments

[My sermon on Luke’s version of this story is posted here. Drop by! – Monte]

Here are the Scriptures I’m working on for Sunday:

Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday after the Epiphany) January 13, 2008
Matthew 3:13-17; Acts 10:34-43; Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29

Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus then appeared, arriving at the Jordan River from Galilee. He wanted John to baptize him. John objected, “I’m the one who needs to be baptized, not you!”

But Jesus insisted. “Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.”
So John did it.

The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Acts 10:34-43
34-36Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.

37-38″You know the story of what happened in Judea. It began in Galilee after John preached a total life-change. Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.

39-43″And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn’t put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we’re not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Isaiah 42:1-9
God’s Servant Will Set Everything Right
1-4 “Take a good look at my servant.
I’m backing him to the hilt.
He’s the one I chose,
and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
He’ll set everything right among the nations.
He won’t call attention to what he does
with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant,
but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth.
Far-flung ocean islands
wait expectantly for his teaching.”
The God Who Makes Us Alive with His Own Life
5-9God’s Message,
the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies,
laid out the earth and all that grows from it,
Who breathes life into earth’s people,
makes them alive with his own life:
“I am God. I have called you to live right and well.
I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe.
I have set you among my people to bind them to me,
and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations,
To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light:
opening blind eyes,
releasing prisoners from dungeons,
emptying the dark prisons.
I am God. That’s my name.
I don’t franchise my glory,
don’t endorse the no-god idols.
Take note: The earlier predictions of judgment have been fulfilled.
I’m announcing the new salvation work.
Before it bursts on the scene,
I’m telling you all about it.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 29
A David Psalm
1-2 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!

3 God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

4 God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.

5 God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.

7-8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.

9 God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”

10 Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.

11 God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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Written by Monte

January 11, 2008 at 6:59 pm

4 Responses

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  1. a) Of course John (as you cite him in Mt 3) is not referring to water baptism, but contrasting it with that of “the Holy Spirit and fire.”
    b) And Jesus is not referring to water baptism in your excerpt from Luke 12, because it has already taken place. Jesus uses the word here to figuratively mean his suffering and death.
    c) The “Name” he “manifested” to them could not possibly mean the word YHWH (nor its transliteration as used in the era of the early English Bible, Jehovah), for his disciples knew that name – as did every child in Judea and Galilee – long before they followed him.

    You miss the beautiful essence of the term. “Name … is used to signify the collected attributes or characteristics of the object named,” says Unger. Jesus, in manifesting the Father’s name to his people, has made them like him. So when we pray “in Jesus’ name,” as he instructed us, he does not refer to a formulaic recitation to be tacked onto the end of our prayers like a magic word, or a name that must be said in order to make it clear to God that it’s him being addressed (he knows our hearts, after all!), but a prayer that emerges from a life so surrendered to Christ that it’s transformed into bearing the “characteristics of the object named”: a likeness to Jesus himself.

    Jesus has no interest in fulfillment of religious formulae (to the displeasure of the Pharisees); he is interested in the transformation of the heart into his own likeness – his name.

    Monte

    January 14, 2008 at 2:28 pm

  2. In his own prayer which reveals his completed tasks done on the earth Jesus said:

    John 17
    6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

    He taught his disciples God’s name.

    The thing is why would Jesus have to do that when Moses already taught them his name?

    In the same prayer he said:

    11″I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that (AC)they may be one even as We are. 12″While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me;

    “I kept them in your name.”

    Here is what Jesus sais about HIS BAPTISM which he commanded.

    Luke 12:49-53
    49″I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50(B) I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!

    He is distressed over the baptism he commanded!

    John the Baptist also explained that it is Jesus Christs Baptism that will seperate people:

    Matthew 3
    11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.[b] 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    Notice that the alternative to Jesus Christs commanded Baptism is to be burned up with fire.

    Jesus must think his baptism is a very big deal.

    regards

    Isaiah30v8

    isaiah30v8

    January 14, 2008 at 11:37 am

  3. Friend, if this were important to God, Jesus would have made a big deal of it. He’s the example.

    Monte

    January 14, 2008 at 12:03 am

  4. I am God. That’s my name. -Isa42

    Very important to know, especially in regard to Baptism.

    Matthew 28:18-20- 19 Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,

    The name of the Father!

    Here are some points from my blog in regard to Baptism:

    There may now be some who disagree that God’s actual name must be used in order for a Christian Baptism to be complete. If this is the case they could consider what Jesus said in the following scripture written in the Gospel of John.

    John 8:44- You are from your father the Devil, and you wish to do the desires of your father. That one was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because the truth is not in him.

    In many religions the one officiating over the baptism makes a vow “in the name of the father” instead of in the name of the father. The scripture above shows that it is necessary to use God’s actual name. This is in order to differentiate exactly which father is being referred to in the vows.

    If this is now understood then perhaps the confounding in regard to God’s name mentioned in Psalm 83 might also be appreciated.

    Psalm 83:16-18- Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O Lord. 17 Let them be confounded and troubled forever; yea let them be put to shame And perish:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

    The use of God’s name is what completes a valid baptism as commanded by Jesus Christ and allows the new Christian to gain entry to the temple.

    Might be too controversial to use from your pulpit though.

    isaiah30v8

    January 13, 2008 at 9:45 pm


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