Day 4—Aug 8, 2018
When John the Baptist said the Kingdom was near, he was prophesying about what Jesus would manifest and release.
THE WATER BAPTISM of John was known as a baptism of repentance. That made Jesus’ request for John to baptize Him strange and quite difficult to process. Jesus had no sin to repent of. But John’s baptism was also a part of his announcement of the Kingdom being near. John knew he wasn’t worthy to baptize Jesus. In fact, he confessed his need for the baptism that Jesus would bring—in the Holy Spirit and fire (see Matt. 3: 11). But Jesus insisted. Being willing to do what you are not qualified to do is sometimes what qualifies you. Even through the act of baptism, Jesus was unveiling the nearness of the Kingdom. He was identifying with those He came to liberate from sin. As the spotless Son of God, Jesus was completely without sin. So why be baptized? This moment is what marked the beginning of His public ministry, a lifestyle that would become the template for future generations of believers to follow. He was intentional about identifying with us in every way. Surely Jesus foresaw a day coming when people, His people no less, would look upon His works and conclude that they were exclusive to Him because of His divinity. He was making a bold pronouncement through baptism, declaring to all generations: “What I am doing, you will also do.”
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING MATTHEW 3: 1
PRAYER Your Kingdom was revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ. He has shown me what it looks like to carry and release Your Kingdom in my everyday life. Even though other voices try to distract me from this example, keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. He is my Messiah and He is also my model for living. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Your Son—Jesus! He not only brought me into Your Kingdom, but has shown me how to live as a citizen of this Kingdom.