Springboarding off of the Apostle Paul’s life focus, clearly expressed in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Pastor Greg launched an “open-ended” message series on January 12th, 2020 – focusing on “Just Jesus.” He is walking us through the entire New Testament, pulling passages from the Old Testament for context, and keep us focused throughout the year on “Just Jesus.” This week he covers Matthew 3:13-17, retelling the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, what that signified, and how it, as Jesus put it, would be “fitting to fulfill all righteousness.”
For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:2
If God had a name ~ what would it be? And would you call it to His face? If you were faced with Him in all His glory, what would you ask if you had just one question? And yeah, yeah, God is great. Yeah, yeah, God is good. And yeah, yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah. What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us. Just a stranger on the bus, tryin’ to make his way home? ~ Joan Osborne
… since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:14-16
Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. ~ Matthew 3:13
But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” ~ Matthew 3:14
But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. ~ Matthew 3:15
πρέπω ~ prepó (GREEK)
it is translated to be fitting, to be proper, to be suitable but it really means to stand out, to be conspicuous, to be eminent
HOW WILL THIS BE “FITTING” TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS
1) Baptism, at its core, is a public identification with a message, a teacher, a movement, a cause.
He must increase, but I must decrease. ~ John 3:30
2) Jesus illustrates how true leaders lead by example.
So, with His baptism, Jesus is saying: “Just as I have affirmed John’s message and submitted to it by baptism, I am one day going to ask all of you to do the same with my message. I will ask you to publicly and conspicuously affirm what I tell you to do, submit to me and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” ~ Matthew 3:16-17
John testified saying, “I HAVE SEEN the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” ~ John 1:32-34
“Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 40:3-5
BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
~ Revelation 1:7
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. ~ Matthew 11:15
How can we be sure we’re prepared to receive God’s spiritual truth, seeing and hearing what others cannot?
The truth is, it is not complicated. Knowing, seeing, hearing, the will of God is not complicated. The first necessary requirement is to be born again.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:1
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:5-8
In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth… In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory… [Paul prays] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him… I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. ~ Ephesians 1:8b-10, 13-14, 17-19
… just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9-16