About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact
About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact

The Baptism of Jesus


Matthew 3

Do you remember what our challenge is this year?

Now, in the first two chapters Matthew has told us all these things about Jesus: Jeshua…Savior; Christ-Messiah; Son of David-King; Son of Abraham-the seed in whom all nations will be blessed; Legal heir to the throne; 3 sets of 14 – fulfillment of God’s holy work…Conceived by the Holy Spirit, Confirmed by an angel; confirmed by the prophet Isaiah; Immanuel-God With Us; The star; the Magi-King of kings; the gifts-King, Priest, and Sacrifice, confirmed by the prophet Micah, Hosea, Jeremiah and others…all of these things were a pronouncement…they were God’s way of giving a birth announcement to Jew and Gentile alike that the King of kings and the Lord of lords has come.

Now, here in chapter 3 we learn about the one who was sent to “make way for the Lord”…and the first thing we need to notice is his message. Look at vs. 1-2:

Now in those days John the Baptist (or baptizer) came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

And notice he says, “…for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Now, look at vs. 3-4 :  For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying,  “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight!'”

4 Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather belt about his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

And what you will see is he was a bold, straight forward preacher of righteousness and holiness…who doesn’t seem to fear anyone.

And vs. 5 tells us that people went out to him from Jerusalem…and all of Judea…and the whole region of the Jordan…and I want you to see what he told them…turn to Luke 3 starting in vs. 10:

The people ask, “Then what shall we do?” and John says, “Let the man who has two tunics share with him who has none; and let him who has food do likewise.”

And some tax-gatherers also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.”

14 And some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”

Here is the foundational teaching of the kingdom of God…for people to get their lives right with God: Compassion, sharing, giving, fairness, honesty, integrity.

Now, go back to Matthew 3:6 and I want you to notice something that is very important.

…and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

And look at this verse found in Mark 1:4: John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

The Sadducees: They claimed to trace their lineage back to Zadok…a man who shared the high-priestly office during the days of David and who was made sole high priest during the days of Solomon…they were the group to which the high priests generally belonged.

But now both the Pharisees and the Sadducees come to John “for baptism.”

You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

I have seen people be baptized whose hearts were not open to God…their was no conversion…no sincere repentance…and their was no sincere acknowledgement of sins…they were simply baptized out of fear.

Well, John tells us how you can know…look at what he says next in vs. 8: “Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;

Vs. 8 again: “Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves,’ We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

10 “And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees (John expresses a sense of urgency here…the time to repent is right now…judgment it at hand…don’t delay); every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 “And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Now, vs. 13:  Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 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. 16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Well vs. 16 tells us: …for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

John came preaching a message of “Repentance…of Conversion…changing the will, the mind and the heart.”

I have come to believe that through my 20 years of preaching that I have put so much emphasis on getting people into the water…so much emphasis on people being immersed into Jesus Christ out of fear of going to hell…that I have not taught repentance the way the Bible teaches it.

The holiness of God must begin to affect your life because if you are not repentant before God the water doesn’t matter.

So, to anyone that has not yet been immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…you absolutely need to be.

And for those of us who have come to Christ…there are times when we get caught up in the world…times when we have drifted away.

Remember…the kingdom of Heaven is at hand…and those who allow the kingdom to dwell in their hearts…those will receive great blessings.