ODJ: drowning in love

November 4, 2013 

READ: Luke 3:15-22 

One day when the crowds were baptised, Jesus Himself was baptised (v.21).

I recently baptised a primary school aged church member in a local river. His dad walked into the water with me, and we stood on each side of his son. Together, we submerged him and then raised him from the cool, cleansing stream. The dad beamed during the entire holy moment. It was the son’s baptism, but it was evident that he experienced the same joy.

The crowds flocked to the wilderness to hear John preach and to be baptised in the Jordan River (Luke 3:7). They came because he announced that something new was happening and that God’s kingdom was breaking through. The baptiser preached that “people should be baptised to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven” (v.3).

Though John protested, Jesus came to be baptised as well. As He emerged from the Jordan, God the Father’s voice thundered from the sky: “You are My dearly loved Son, and You bring Me great joy” (v.22). Those loving words spoken from the Father to the Son were also heard by the crowd—they publicly witnessed Jesus being revealed as the Messiah (John 1:31-34).

Immediately following Jesus’ baptism, He endured 40 days of temptation and isolation in the wilderness. For the next 3 years He was misunderstood and increasingly ridiculed. Eventually He hung alone on a cross. Firstly, however—before Jesus could sustain such hardship—it was essential for Him to know that the Father loved Him completely.

While this story is about Jesus’ baptism, it’s also about our baptism. It’s about God’s love for Jesus as well as God’s love for us through His Son. We too are God’s beloved children. He also delights in us. —Winn Collier

Read Luke 3:1-14. What kind of radical life does this radical love call us to enjoy? What shape does love take?  
Why do you think it was important for Jesus to receive the Father’s love and affirmation? Why is it vital for you to receive those things from Him?