Baptism of Jesus
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove.And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
The Baptism of Jesus
John the Baptist's message was as rough as his appearance. He began, "Brood of vipers…!" (Luke.3:7). Could he be the Messiah? Many felt, yes. This shows that they had no glamorised image of the Messiah. They expected a thrashing! God would burn up most of them like chaff, John promised.
This was a significant phrase: the Pharisees regarded the common people as chaff - empty husks. John's words must have cut to the quick. John's cousin too came from the desert, but his attitude was different. Looking at the crowd, "He felt sorry for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few…'" (Mt.9:36). He did not see them as chaff, but as harvest - ripe and full of life. He believed in them.
The kind of baptism that John was offering was a "baptism of repentance," that is, it was for people who were repenting their sins, or some great sin, and turning over a new leaf. What is Jesus, the sinless one, doing in such company? He is expressing solidarity with them. This he continued to do throughout his life. He ate with prostitutes and tax-collectors, he reached out and touched lepers, he made friends with outcasts, he told stories that held up Samaritans and Gentiles as heroes of faith and love. He is one of us; and so, wherever we are, he has to be.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries