"The Baptism of Jesus"
The stunning story at the start of Matthew’s account of the adult life of Jesus presents him shining bright. We see his humility in following the will of his Father in heaven and the humility to be baptized by John.
Take a moment to think this through.
God becoming human and submitting himself to a public baptism of repentance. A public act in which the baptized person shows everybody watching that they are sorry for the things they have done wrong. A public act saying they will turn their life around and try to follow the right path. Jesus has no need of this action but does it anyway.
We will never know the full reasons for this action, but we see a foreshadowing of what he will ultimately do on the cross.
Jesus is willing to suffer the humiliation of baptism and then the humiliation of crucifixion for us and to follow the will of his Father. Both of these events point to his divinity and his perfect humanity. Jesus is not worried about what people will think of him - he knows the truth, and, as John quotes in his gospel, the truth sets you free.
As we reflect on Jesus’s baptism today, we try to focus on the truth in our lives.
We are created by God, we are loved unconditionally by God, we make mistakes and these mistakes mean we fall short of our potential.
We are loved by God just as much because of our mistakes as regardless of our mistakes.
We are set free from sin because of the actions of Jesus. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to enable us to live as freely and free from fear as Jesus lives.
When we act today and tomorrow in this freedom, we too can hear God, our loving Father, say, ‘This is my beloved son or daughter, in whom I am well pleased.’
Take a few minutes to repeat a prayer of your choice over and over to help you still your mind and meditate on this mystery and revelation.