This first Sunday in the season of Epiphany is traditionally marked by hearing the account of Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordon River. Each year we are reminded of the surprise that Our Lord went to John to be baptized. There are lots of ideas about why he did that, and thoughts about what it means. To tell the truth, we don’t really know what it fully signifies. In St. Matthew’s Gospel Jesus asks to baptized despite John’s reluctance because it will fulfill all righteousness. But that trades one riddle for another one doesn’t it?
Something important clearly happened when Jesus was baptized. All of the Gospel accounts include as signifying his identity as the Messiah who has come to fulfill the promises and mark the occasion as the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
In this sermon I try to unpack some of what this might mean, particularly within the way Matthew presents the account. And I find reason to hope that we can trust that God, though Jesus, can complete what we lack as we, in our way, try to fulfill all righteousness ourselves.
The direct link to the video is found here.