In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:1-3)
Isaiah was an Old Testament prophet who lived about six hundred years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Through a mysterious revelation given to him directly from God, he often spoke about a future Servant who would be sent by God, and who would be the world’s only hope for restoration and reconciliation with its Creator. Isaiah wrote that God would “delight” in his special Servant and that God would “put his Spirit upon him” (Isaiah 42:1).
At the baptism of Jesus, we clearly see God’s confirmation of Jesus as that special Servant who was now here to bring the promised restoration and reconciliation for the world. The Spirit of God descended upon Jesus anointing him as the promised King sent by God. And the voice of God confirmed Jesus’ identity as the eternal Son of God and Savior of the word. The long awaited Messiah had come and the kingdom of God had now arrived.
Jesus’ baptism was the inauguration of his kingdom mission to rescue and reconcile the world back to its Creator. Praise God that he did not leave us to ourselves and abandon the world to its sinful condition. We have the hope of reconciliation and the hope of a new world that will be fully restored because of the life and work of Jesus — the special Servant and promised King.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, thank you for your own goodness and steadfast love for the world that you created. Thank you for taking it upon yourself to restore and reconcile this good world gone bad. And thank you for the hope that we now have of a new world with you as our King. May your kingdom come and your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen