Jesus Does Not Go into the Water Alone; He Takes Us with Him – A Reflection on the Baptism of the Lord

Community in Mission | 1/12/2019 | Msgr. Charles Pope
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This Sunday’s Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is a time to reflect on not only the Lord’s Baptism but our own. In an extended sense, when Christ is baptized, so are we, for we are members of His Body. As Christ enters the water, He makes holy the water that will baptize us. He enters the water and we follow. In these waters, He acquires gifts to give us.

Let’s examine the Gospel in three stages.

Luke - Mentions - Jesus - Baptism - Passing

Luke mentions Jesus’ Baptism in passing, in the middle of a sentence. Perhaps he, like many of us, is puzzled as to why Jesus would request baptism. John’s baptism of repentance presumes the presence of sin, but the scriptures are clear that Jesus had no sin.

For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb 4:15).

Sins - Sin - John

You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin (1 John 3:5).

Even though He never sinned, Jesus identifies with sinners. As He comes to the bank of the river, He has no ego concerns. He is not embarrassed or ashamed that some might think Him a sinner (though He was not). He accepts the humiliation of being seen in the company of sinners. Jesus freely enters the waters knowing that anyone who does not know Him will count Him among the sinners.

Scripture - Brethren - Heb - God - Sin

Consider how amazing this is. Scripture says, He is not ashamed to call us his Brethren (Heb 2:11). Elsewhere it says, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).

Jesus ate with sinners, something many of the religious leaders found scandalous. This man...
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