Jesus travels south to Judea to be baptized by his cousin John in the River Jordan. After the baptism, some pretty curious and amazing things happened. What does all this mean?
Pastor Tim LeCroy preaches on the topic of the baptism of Jesus Christ from Mark 1:9-11.
Wikipedia article on the Selma to Montgomery Marches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_to_Montgomery_marches
Text of “How Long, Not Long” speech: https://voicesofdemocracy.umd.edu/dr-martin-luther-king-jr-long-not-long-speech-text/
Video of the speech closing: https://youtu.be/TAYITODNvlM?si=CQfo-nXmAWgUilqE
But why in the fashion of a dove? He is reminding us of an ancient history. For so, when once a common shipwreck had overtaken the whole world, and our race was in danger of perishing, this creature appeared, and indicated the deliverance from the tempest, and bearing an olive branch, published the good tidings of the common calm of the whole world; all which was a type of the things to come. To prevent thy despairing, therefore, He reminds thee of that history. Because then also, when things were desperate, there was a sort of deliverance and reformation; but then by punishment, now, on the contrary, by grace and an unspeakable gift. Therefore the dove also appears, not bearing an olive branch, but pointing out to us our Deliverer from all evils, and suggesting the gracious hopes. For not from out of an ark doth she lead one man only, but the whole world she leads up into heaven at her appearing, and instead of a branch of peace from an olive, she conveys the adoption to all the world’s offspring in common.
-St. John Chrysostom, 4th c.
And as our Lord was presently to enter on this way with all humility, so was He willing to be baptized with the baptism of a servant. So He submitted Himself to the gift of John which He Himself had given, that all might understand what sacrilegious arrogance they would show in despising the baptism which they ought each of them to receive from the Lord.
-St. Augustine, 5th c.
In Noah’s time by means of wood and of water there came salvation to themselves, and the beginning of a new generation, and the dove returned to him towards evening with an olive branch; thus, the spiritual dove therefore, came down at the upon the true Noah, that He might shew that it is He who by the wood of the Cross saves them who believe, He who at eventide should grant salvation through His death.
-St. Irenaeus, 3rd c.
Scripture texts: Genesis 1:1-5
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
“The Dawning of a New Creation” a sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Timothy R. LeCroy on Sunday, January 21, 2024 at New Life Presbyterian Church, 950 Danby Rd., Ithaca, NY. Join us for worship every Sunday at 10:00AM. Visit us at our website at www.newlifeithaca.org.
The intro and outro music is from “We Will Feast in the House of Zion” provided by Sandra McCracken and with her permission. Please visit her website at www.sandramccracken.com.