Matthew 3:13-15 - Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so for now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented.
On Tuesday, we spoke about Jesus and how we celebrate His Baptism during Epiphany. Here in Matthew we again see a reference to Jesus' Baptism and God the Father's voice of approval: "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17b).
Jesus came into the world to do what no one else could do: to bring justice to the nations and to overcome the power of evil. Only a leader with complete and perfect power could save the world from evil. So Jesus has the power to do God's work. That is good. But if you think about it, that's also pretty scary.
Whenever someone is strong and powerful, it's easy to be afraid of them. We know that a powerful person can do whatever they want, and we cannot stop them. And we worry about what they will do to us.
Many people feel this way about God. They know that He has all power, that He can give life and take it away. And that makes them afraid of God.
It's even worse, because as sinful human beings, we know that we have done many wrong things. We know that we deserve for God to be angry with us. And so many, many people run away from God, or try to hide from Him. They are afraid that God will use His power to punish them.
But while Jesus has all power in heaven and earth, He doesn't use that power to abuse us, even when we deserve it. No, He uses that power to save us. He leads differently—not as an angry king or warrior, shouting in anger, destroying every weak and tiny thing He comes across.
Instead, He leads gently, tenderly. When we're bruised and bleeding, He comforts and heals us. When our faith is burning low and about to go out, He makes us strong again (see Isaiah 42:3). He never gives up on us, no matter how weak or broken we are.
And this is what He did for us, He laid down His life on the cross. What leader dies for his people!? But that is what Jesus did for us. That is how much He loved us.
And then Jesus rose from the dead three days later, breaking the power of death for all of us.
So this is our hope. Yes, we are very weak. And there are many days when we feel as if our lives were about to go out like a dying candle. But we know Jesus, the real Servant of the Lord, and we know what kind of Leader He is. He is strong, but He is also gentle and caring. And He has given His life for us. Thanks be to God for giving us such a Savior.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your Son has done all things well. We praise You and bless You for the gift of Jesus in our lives. In His Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Minh Chau Vo.
1. In general, would you say you're a follower or a leader? Are you good with that?
2. How was the Baptism of Jesus supposed to "fulfill all righteousness"?
3. How does God support you when your faith is weak?
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