by Fr. Lee Schaefer
Introduction: God became one of us. His unique life giving spirit came to earth and dwelt among us full of life and grace. We, as Christians take this fact for granted. In the first century this was anything but a given. God was wholly other. We were finite, sinful, had limits to our knowledge, limits to what we could do, and God was just the opposite. How could God come and dwell on earth.
I) John the Baptist proclaims emphatically that he is not the Messiah. Jesus, by being baptized by John seems to state by his action an equal denial that he is not the Messiah. While he was baptized nothing extra-ordinary happened. He was baptized along with everybody else, just another person longing for salvation in a crowd.
II) Then, while Jesus was praying something like a dove descended upon him, God’s Holy Spirit. God proclaimed that Jesus was his beloved son in whom He has taken delight. So incredible is this scene that we should pay attention to the fact that Luke has removed John from this scene by having him imprisoned in Luke 3: 19 – 20.
III) As Jesus is lifted up as God’s coming to us without an intermediary. He has come to us not as a King that we must obey, instead as a servant inviting our loyalty. We can easily dismiss this Jesus as someone who is nothing more than a good person. But this is not who he claims to be. How do we show him our loyalty? What do you feel called to do in response to His love for you?