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And Jesus Also

Scripture: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Come to the word, seeking the presence of the living God. Come to the word, seeking forgiveness for the hurts you have caused others. Come to the word, seeking acceptance, w/ hearts ready to be born anew. Listen for the word of God.

Now when all the people were baptized, & when Jesus also had been baptized

- Jesus was around 30 when he said good-bye & headed for the Jordan River

- Folded up the carpenter apron & closed the shop

- We don’t know what prompted him

o Might have been a sermon his rabbi preached

o Maybe it was his buddies from town

o Maybe he heard from his Father, God Almighty

Historians of Jesus often give his mother credit for the prompting that sent him down to the river.

- Maybe; she was remarkable, but not pushy

- She was usually pregnant; Jesus was raised with 4 brothers & many sisters

o I hadn’t thought of that until this week…

- The why is not important, really; he went.

Now when all the people were baptized, & when Jesus also had been baptized

- What a strange thing to say

- Mark makes it sound like it was only Jesus & John

- Matthew says John objected – oh no, you baptize me!

o He has to be convinced by Jesus

There was an early church father, Epiphanius. This will be on the test, so write this down.

- He said he heard that light from heaven shone upon the water

o That’s the way to tell of Jesus’ baptism!

- Or it could have been a private affair

- But Luke makes it sound like: “Next!” And there was Jesus.

I do not like lines. In lines, everybody just sort of seems the same. We are not the same.

- I know how to make lines:

o One for clergy, one for laity; one for rich, one for poor

- I know how to make lines. Luke does not.

Luke gives the impression that it is all just one line. Now when all the people were baptized, & when Jesus also had been baptized

- That just puts Jesus in line

o In line w/ the poor

- The poor are always there; they always show up

- City, suburb or country; hot or cold; dry or raining; they show up

Luke says the rich were there. Does that surprise you? The rich were there. Why?

- Maybe they were bored, counting all those $100 bills

- Maybe they had a health scare; ‘Doc, is it terminal?’

- Maybe they felt guilty: wasting time, food, clothes, etc.

o I don’t know why, but the rich came.

The clergy came. That is a shocker, is it not? The clergy came for baptism.

- Even in ministry, you can forget the ‘why.’

- You can get used to suffering & complaining & stubbornness

- you can get weary

o I would have been there

Most surprising to me, although I do not know why, is that Luke said soldiers were in line.

- They represented the power of Rome

- They had to remove their helmet, breastplate, sword, everything

- with their armor removed, they were like everyone else being baptized

I wonder where Jesus was in line.

- Among the clergy? Or with the poor?

- He may have been among the rich. Or the soldiers?

- Luke makes it sound like he was just the next in line

I’ve been in bad lines – scary lines - before.

- Waiting in the catherization lab for my turn.

- Then waiting to see that the stent takes

o The longest night of my life!

- Then waiting to get discharged

I have been in lines where I thought I was better than everyone else.

- Soup kitchen lines, clothing distribution lines, food distribution lines

- Each time, I have wanted to say, “I am not like you. I am not one of you.”

- But I never have because it would not have been true.

There is a sense in which it does not matter who you are or what you have done or how much money you have made or what kind of car you drive.

- There is a sense in which we are all the same. Especially here.

- Education, income, marital status, clothing label, address – they do not matter

- In a sense, it is all the same.

I am here to tell you that the invitation into the kingdom of God is very simple. It is the same invitation that Jesus heard. A voice simply says, “Next!”


Please stand. People of God, do you know who you are?

We are God’s beloved children.

Followers of Jesus, do you know who you are?

We are the wheat in Christ’s granary.

Heirs of the Spirit, do you know who you are?

We are children of the Spirit, shaped into the body of Christ.

Shaped in God’s love, through the waters of our baptism, let us live in the power of the living God.

You may come forward during our closing song, Come to the Altar.

Friends, remember your baptism & be thankful.

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