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Baptism of Jesus Sunday

Sunday, January 13th, is Baptism of Jesus Sunday. On the Baptism of Jesus Sunday we celebrate the second of two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity was manifested or ‘shown’. The manifestation or ‘showing’ of Jesus’ divinity happened when John the Baptist baptised Jesus in the Jordan river, and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form like a dove. God’s voice from heaven, then, spoke to him saying, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased’ (Luke 3:22b).

It is important to understand that this passage is composed of two texts. ‘You are my beloved Son’ comes from Psalm 2:7, and was always accepted by the Jewish people, as a description of the Messianic King. Jesus understood from these words that he was the Messiah, God’s anointed king. ‘In whom I am well pleased’ is from Isaiah 42:1, and describes the Servant of the Lord whose portrait culminates in Isaiah 53 - the account of the Suffering Servant. Jesus understood from God’s words spoken to him during his baptism that he was being called to a life of suffering and a cross. Therefore, the cross did not come on Jesus unawares; from the first moment of realization he saw it ahead, and received it as his destiny. (Adapted from - William Barclay, “The Gospel of Luke: The New Daily Study Bible” (2017): 46.)

Luke 3:22, and its origins in Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1, culminating in Isaiah 53 with the account of the Suffering Servant, are worth reading and reflecting on. God’s revelation to Jesus during his baptism conveys to Jesus, for the first time, his destiny. I am, as always, interested in hearing your thoughts about this passage and how it speaks to you.

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