I never much liked John the Baptist.
He’s all repent, and you brood of vipers, and Jesus is coming with a winnowing fork. Barbara Brown Taylor likens him to a Doberman pinscher and I can see her point. He’s just kind of up in your face, and that’s not really my style.
I have a tendency to glaze over him in my reading, taking for granted that I know what he has to say, and I’d like to just get to the main character anyway. Let’s read about Jesus.
I love the part when Jesus is baptized. The heavens open, God’s Spirit descends, and a voice from heaven calls out. You are the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.
The first thing Jesus does in his ministry is go down into the water with sinners and receive a blessing. This is just chapter 3 in the book of Matthew, right at the beginning.
Jesus has not yet healed, taught, preached, or redeemed in order to earn that blessing. Rather he is rooted there before he even begins.
First he is blessed. And called the Beloved Son of God.
- Matthew 3:1 - 17