The Baptism of the Lord holds a special meaning to me. Not only does it officially mark the end of the Christmas season, my son was born on this feast day. This year, this feast was special to me as it was while reflecting on this feast that I saw a deeper meaning in the baptism of the Lord.
We have been told that this event marks the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. However, as I read the scripture on this, I find that this event is actually a summary of the life of Jesus.
In the book of Genesis, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. And it was in these waters that creation took form. Jesus' going into the river Jordan symbolizes God's hovering over the waters of creation. His baptism - immersing in the waters, symbolizes his immersion into his creation. It also symbolizes the day when he will die and his rising from the waters symbolizes his resurrection. And it after Jesus rose from the water, the Spirit descended on him and the Father spoke, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am pleased."
The descent of the Spirit foreshadows the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost - after the death of Christ. And when the Father spoke, he was referring to the obedience that Jesus will show in his death.
The Father was pleased with Jesus because Jesus was totally disposed to the Father. Jesus obeyed the Father and allowed the Father to do his will through Jesus. When Jesus walked the earth, he was fully divine yet fully human. To say that Jesus performed the miracles and wonders because he was God is a mis-statement. For one, if Jesus did those things because of his divinity, then he was not fully human. In a sense he had an advantage over us. This then contradicts what scripture says about Jesus - that he was in every way human except for sin.
My reflection on this is that Jesus was able to do the wonders he performed because he was totally and fully obedient and dependent on the Father. His obedience to the Father allowed the Father to work through Jesus. And that is what pleases the Father.
May we be open our hearts to the Father so that we may be obedient to his will. This is the only way that Jesus has shown us. This is the only way to please the Father.
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