a Voice from Heaven

One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” [Luke 3:21-22 NLT]

Can you imagine the look on the Baptist's face when he saw Jesus walking towards him? Matthew's gospel tells us that John was unwilling to baptize him. John's baptismal message did not seem to apply to Jesus. He had no sin to repent of. Yet in this moment Jesus was teaching us a deeper meaning of baptism.

As he arose from the waters Jesus heard the voice of the Father and experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. In this sense baptism is much more than an evidence of repentance or the receiving of forgiveness. As we open ourselves to the baptismal waters we also open ourselves to the heart of God.

In vulnerable moments such as this, God can come to us. Speak to us. Empower us. The deeper meaning of baptism is not about sin. Or repentance. Or water. The substance of baptism is that Christlike humility draws us closer to God. To a place where we identify as dearly loved children of God.

Lord help me to humble myself as you humbled yourself in baptism.

... this devotion is part of a series about John the Baptist.

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