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Now that John the Runner (and Baptizer) was grown up and had been out in the wilderness, guess who else was all grown up? Jesus!
When Jesus was about 30 years old, He traveled from Galilee to the Jordan River to see John. Many people were being baptized under the water by John.
Jesus went down to the water so John could baptize Him too. But John’s eyes got big and he shook his head. “I need to be buried under the water by You!” John told Jesus. “Why are You coming to be baptized by me?!”
“It’s alright,” Jesus answered. “John, please do it now. We need to do every right thing God requires.”
So John put Jesus under the water, baptizing Him. When Jesus came up out of the water, do you know what He was doing? He was talking to His Father in Heaven, and the Father was just bursting to answer! At that very moment, Heaven was torn open and the Holy Spirit came down and rested on Jesus like a dove.
This was the One! This was the Champion coming to save people from sin! It was just like God had said to John before, “The man you see the Spirit come down and rest on — He’s the One!” Now John knew for certain. This. Is. The Guy!
Why did Jesus want John to baptize Him? The other people were being baptized for repentance, to show that they wanted to stop sinning and do what pleased God. But Jesus had never sinned! Could it be that this was Jesus’ way of showing, “I’m going to show you the way into this whole new life I’m bringing. I’m with you on this journey. Your problems are My problems. I’ll do the right stuff and show you the way. Follow Me!“
Then a voice came from Heaven. It was God the Father, saying to Jesus, “You are My one dear Son. And I love You! You make Me SO happy!”
God’s only Son was here on earth. A Son who was close to God, who was God! Someone who made God happy all the time and never disobeyed.
The Father in Heaven was letting everyone around know — “This is My Boy! My Son!” God was making it very clear who Jesus was. The Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit were all working together to show people something they had never seen before.
It was a new day! God’s Spirit, His power and breath and Heaven-life, filled Jesus and stayed with Him.
Later John saw Jesus coming toward him and said to some people near him, “Look! That man is the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sins! This is the one I meant when I said before, ‘A man who is coming after me is so much greater than me because He was before me.’ I didn’t even fully recognize Him myself at first, but the reason I came baptizing with water was so that He might be made known to all God’s people.”
John was starting to see something that people hadn’t really seen before — that this man, the Chosen one of God who everyone had been waiting, waiting, waiting for, would sacrifice Himself for the sins of the whole world.
“It’s the Lamb of God, who takes away the world’s sins.”