At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River so that John would baptize him. John tried to stop him and said, “I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?” Jesus answered, “Allow me to be baptized now. This is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.” So John agreed to baptize Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.” (Matthew 3:13-17, Common English Bible)
Those scratched on words in the picture above and left are how so many of us feel during life. I can’t begin to tell you how many people have sat in my office over the past 25 plus years sharing their feelings with me and I heard some of the very words above in those conversations. It is truly heartbreaking.
I have heard stories that included physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I have heard stories of spouses leaving, not because there was anything wrong with the other spouse, but because they believed they found someone better. I’ve heard about the other spouse abusing the kids. There have been people who were wrongfully terminated from their jobs. I’ve heard tales of abuse from the kids. I have listened as people told me of having done some “wrong, bad things” and because of that, they were unlovable. All of these people shared something in common. They all believed they were at fault because of what happened to them. They also all believed because of what they had done or thought they had done, there was no way that God could possibly love them. Plain and simply put, they are wrong.
Imagine being at the Jordan River on that day some 2000 years ago when Jesus came to John the Baptist wanting to be baptized. John was there baptizing those who repented of their sin. Then along comes Jesus, someone John knew to be the Messiah, someone John knew had committed no sin, wanting to be baptized. John also knew his place as a sinner in the world. That is why John says to Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, yet you come to me?”
John recognized something he had in common with those people, as well as many others I have talked with, he wasn’t worthy of what he was being asked to do. And yet, it was Jesus who was asking him to do this. Jesus was saying, in essence, “Hey, give me this one, baptize me today.” John realized that by His words, Jesus was making John worthy of the requested action.
When the baptism was done, Jesus heard God speak saying, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.”
As we will see down the road, eventually Jesus will die on a cross. He died so we might have life. He died to make us worthy. God loves each of us so much, that God would die for each of us.
All those folks, whether they were right in the situation or not, whether they were the perpetrator or the victim, in themselves, because they are all sinners, just as we all are sinners, are in themselves unworthy of the love God has for them. But, at least for we who believe, Jesus makes us worthy. We are a beloved child of God.
I may not be right about this, but I like to think I am, when we accept God’s love for us, I think all of heaven hears, “This is my child whom I dearly love. With this child, I am well pleased.”
What have you done that makes you believe you are unworthy? Guess what, Jesus died for you too. Because of that death, you, a beloved child of God are made worthy.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.