FOLLOWING IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE….JORDAN (Part 4 of 10).
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized” (Matthew 3:13).
Jesus had witnessed the suffering in the world and the sorrow that it brings. He is now summoned by God to join those who believed that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. Jesus publicly aligned himself with John’s ministry, although he is without sin. He is indicating that there is a new parting from a life of sin. An exodus from sin to salvation, a new entry into the Promised Land, known to Christians as the Kingdom of God. The water ceremony that is representing repentance, cleansing, death and separation from the things of the world. Jesus was introducing a new reign and entrance into salvation.
John the Baptist was preaching a radical message of salvation, which Jesus encouraged by being a baptismal participant, to confirm that John’s message was true. Jesus was associating himself with the people around him. He sided with those people who followed the preaching of the Kingdom of God. At the Jordan River, Jesus openly disrobed his humanity and rose from his watery grave in the Spirit of power. It was at this time, he made a public commitment to labor for the Kingdom of God. He forsook the world and took up his cross of salvation! This act of obedience was pleasing to his Heavenly Father: “And Jesus, when was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17).
Jesus emerged from the Jordan River with a changed heart. He was no longer Jesus the carpenter, but Jesus the Messiah and the Sacrificial Lamb of God. He had died to the old life and his new life was the work of the Kingdom of God. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19). Out of the Jordan River came a new creature, Jesus the Liberator of souls, and the Champion of Salvation, and the Redeemer of the world.
Following in the Path of the Divine, to our Jordan River, we too are called to John’s baptism. John’s baptism is the called the “Baptism of Repentance.” Although we know that Jesus is without sin, we are not without sin. Therefore, we must come to our baptism with a remorseful heart. Otherwise, our baptism is meaningless and ineffective and our sins are not forgiveness. The Pharisees and Scribes came for John’s Baptism, but in their hearts they were liars! It is written: “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our fathers: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matthew 3:7-9). The reason why so many are not producing any fruit for the Kingdom of God, is because they have never truly repented in their heart, and they are still wading in the chilly Jordan River. Repent and be baptized in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. A remorseful heart is what activates the salvation process. Otherwise, all you are is wet, unsaved and powerless!
As Jesus, we must cross over to the other side, from the carnal to spiritual. We must repent and be made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit. Emerging with a new heart and a new perceptive, thereby rising in Christ with a new life of righteousness. We must receive the approval of the Heavenly Father that we are his beloved children, and prepared by the gift of the Holy Spirit to face and overcome the world.
For the record, this message is for the whole world. God bless you and amen.
Written Reverend Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor