Jesus 101: What His Baptism Means For You (A Bible Study on Matthew 3)
Can you believe that the God of the universe knows you? He knows your sin and limitations, and yet loves you beyond what we can imagine. He gives us belonging, he gives us his acceptance, he gives us his approval. Which one of those do you need to believe is true?
As we approach Easter, we’re getting back to the basics of Jesus' life, the movements of his earthly ministry that lead to his death and resurrection. He has moved in this world and is moving in our lives as well. This week, we’re looking at Matthew 3 and the story of Jesus’ baptism.
You can find the full show notes at https://www.lifeaudio.com/how-to-study-the-bible/
WHAT’S THE BACKSTORY?
For the first 30 years of Jesus’ life, he had a quiet life. Now he’s stepping into the spotlight, into his calling.
Meanwhile, John, a righteous Jew who is seeking the Messiah as foretold in the Old Testament. is preaching in the desert. People are coming to him to be baptized – a common cleansing rite that many kinds of religious orders would have participated in.
WHAT DOES IT SAY?
We learn at least three groups of people approaching John. He calls them to bear the fruit of repentance.
Some were being baptized and repenting, others were standing around watching (judging?)
Then Jesus walks up. John doesn’t want to baptize him, knowing he is not worthy. But Jesus insists – he is obedient to the Father.
“This is my son” – there is connection and belonging
“whom I love” – there is acceptance
“with whom I am well pleased” – there is approval
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
All the prophecies of the Old Testament are coming to fulfillment in Jesus. This is an incredibly important moment, where God offers Jesus his full belonging, acceptance, and approval.
Jesus was beloved, and that same standing is conferred (given, transferred) to us when we believe: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME?
Before we can do anything or approve anything, God gives us belonging, acceptance and approval.
If you believed this to be absolutely true for you, what would change?
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Nicole has spent twenty years serving the local church, first in student ministry (where she’s never lost her love of a great group game) and then leading start-ups of all kinds, from leadership development to capital campaigns. She now teaches and consults with churches and ministries to strengthen their stories and cut through confusion to discover the next right steps for success.