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Let it Be This Way for Now
Bible Passage Matthew 3:13-17
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & books Acts, ISAIAH, Matthew.

Let it Be This Way for Now

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached January 16, 2023

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.

14 But John tried to stop him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me?”

15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be this way for now, because this is the proper way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” At this, he permitted him to be baptized.

16 When Jesus had been baptized, he immediately came up out of the water. Suddenly, the heavens opened up for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him.

17 Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with him!”


John called people to repentance and baptism. Jesus was perfect so how would such baptism be applicable to Him? It therefore buffles a lot why Jesus would want to be baptized by John whose main reason for baptism was to call people to repentance and forgiveness of sins.

So when Jesus approached John to be baptized, John hesitated, because he knew Jesus was superior to him in character, status and authority.

It also seemed that Jesus was the first proper Jew to be baptized. Only gentiles and proselyte Jews (gentiles who became Jews), believed to be tainted with sin. Proper Jews saw themselves as true descendants of Abraham, assured of salvation and would never allow themselves to be baptized. The baptism of Jesus delivers a strong message. It presents Jesus as the King, but through the Cross.

Only Matthew’s gospel records that John protested. Jesus was greater than John was so John thought that Jesus ought to baptise him.

But Jesus insisted. He had no sins to confess. Jesus did not need John’s baptism but He wanted to confirm that it was right to be baptized. Jesus had come to rescue people from their sins. He wanted to show people that He was a real person too. His baptism also showed that He was going to begin His own public work.

He wanted to begin His ministry with a public declaration of His devotion to God. Baptism was an act of obedience carried out by those who declared themselves on the side of God and His righteousness.

Jesus was baptized to show that, like all the faithful, He was obedient to God and He intended to carry out all God’s purposes. His baptism displayed His identification, or solidarity, not only with the faithful minority of Israel but also with the human race in general. It was an identification that would lead to a far greater baptism at Golgotha, when as the representative of His fellow human beings He would bear the full penalty of sin.

Having shown His intentions openly, Jesus received openly the assurance that His Father was pleased with Him.
The dove is a gentle bird and was the sign of peace. Jesus would bring peace between people and God and between different people. The gentle bird was also a sign of a new start. It would remind Matthew’s readers about Genesis 8:8-11. The same kind of gentle bird came back to Noah after the flood. The dove was also a sign of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gave Jesus the power to do God’s work.

The Father’s announcement, by combining a quote concerning the Davidic Messiah with one concerning the Servant of the Lord (see Ps 2:7; Isa 42:1 ), gave an indication that Jesus’ way to kingly glory was to be that of the suffering servant.

Psalm 2 describes God’s ‘son’. He is the king, and all the rulers on earth must serve Him. Isaiah 42 is one of the ‘Servant Songs’. God was very pleased with this special Servant and He would have God’s Spirit. This Servant would then be able to do God’s work.

In appointing Jesus to His public ministry, the Father poured out upon Him the Holy Spirit, through whose power He would carry out His messianic work (Matt 3:16-17; cf. Isa 11:1-2; 61:1; Acts 10:37-38 ).

🔷 Believers and their households must feel proud to be associated with Christ and His work, and follow Him diligently to the end of their life

🔷 If God is pleased with you does not mean you would not find persecution or trouble with your walk with God

🔷 The presence of Jesus brings inner peace and fulfilment to His people

💥 Ask for the strength to follow the way of the cross

The way to the Father is only through the Cross. The acceptance to follow Jesus is clear indication that we shall face persecution and troubles, as prerequisites to our glory.

In series Bright Morning Reflections