Matthew 3:13-17

Someone hearing verse 13 for the first time might wonder if they
heard correctly. This is not how most of us would write the story.
Doesn’t it seem wrong for Jesus, God in human form, to come from
Galilee to ask John for baptism? At this point in the plot, wouldn’t
it make more sense for Jesus to do the baptizing, starting with this
wilderness-living, bug-eating, camel-hair-wearing Baptist who hangs
out by the river and calls people snakes? Even the Baptizer finds this
ironic and tries to correct the situation.

John understands the way things should be done and who should do them, declaring, “I need to be baptized by you” (v. 14). But Jesus sees a bigger picture and understands God’s way for this to happen. In choosing his baptism, Jesus chooses that way, and God affirms that choice, saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased” (v. 17).

God knows that choosing baptism is an essential step in the life
of faith, even for Jesus.

Claiming our baptism is a daily activity. We choose it as we
decide between what is good and what is better. Sometimes we must
choose between conventional logic and what is proper in God’s sight.
Frequently we choose between doing what the world says is good or
doing what God asks of us.

How will we claim our baptism today? As we do, may we hear
God affirm: You are my beloved child. With you I am well pleased.


What small or large decision will you make today because you are claiming your baptism?


God, help us make the choices that please you. Help us know your pleasure when we do. Amen.

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