The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Identity is a pretty important thing. In John 1:24-28 the people questioning Jesus are Pharisees. They consider observance of law and order to be very important. We can see that in their question. Why are you baptizing? What authority do you have?
The idea of ceremonial washings was well known to the Jews, long prior to the 1st century. A washing, a consecration, was a sign and seal of cleanness and authority to engage in certain activities, particularly those related to purifying and consecrating others.
John was baptizing with water. It is a baptism of repentance. Yet John understands what we often fail to grasp. Jesus’ baptism is not a baptism of repentance. It is a filling with the Holy Spirit. It is not the work of the believer. It is not the work of the person who is sorry for his sin. It is the work of Jesus himself. Though Christian baptism, Jesus makes disciples (Matthew 28:19). Although he uses human hands, he is the one acting.
Do we recognize the power of Jesus to fill his people with the Holy Spirit? May we have grace to be like John and recognize the Holy One of Israel.
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