REFLECT – Day 3:
We continue our exploration of what it means to be poor and yet blessed. Of course I’m still referring to “The Beatitudes” where Jesus is recorded as saying ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’.
Today’s reading is Matthew 3:13-17. A familiar passage where we see Jesus baptised and the trinitarian God revealed for all to see or read! Take a couple of minutes to read this passage, and try not to skip over it just because it’s familiar. Sit with it, dwell on it, dissect some of it’s words.
Many of us today no longer know who we really are or what our lives are truly worth. These deep questions can eat away at our peace of mind.
Baptism is at the centre of the Christian understanding of who we are and what our lives mean. Jesus begins his public ministry at his baptism by John in the Jordan. As Jesus comes out of the water, he receives the gift of the Spirit and hears these powerful words of life: ‘This is my son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased’.
Jesus’ life and identity flow from understand that he is the Son of God and deeply loved by God. He knows his need of God right at the beginning and continues to walk in this way.
Jesus reveals why he wanted to be baptised ‘to fulfil all righteousness’. We must acknowledge our need to be washed clean by God as we cannot attain righteousness by our own works or effort. Perhaps you have even felt that a self righteous pleasure will never truly satisfy. It always leaves room for doubt and error. But Jesus who fulfils all righteousness on our behalf, lives the life we never could, welcomes us into his righteousness and shares it with us.
Our first step is to acknowledge that we are indeed ‘poor in spirit’. To run to Jesus in that poverty and find that He is more than willing to share His righteous riches with us. As we share in this righteousness we also share in His beloved-ness. We too can hear the words of the Father and claim them as our own. Not because we have earned them but because Christ gifts that privilege to us.
So, will you follow the example of Jesus and walk in this way? Baptism can be regarded as the outward sign of an inward transformation. So let’s start with the internal. Will you receive the spirit afresh? Will you hear the words of the Father? Will you acknowledge your poverty and align your identity with the righteous riches of Jesus?
Listen to God’s words to you in Christ:
‘My child, my beloved, with whom I am well pleased’.
Is this a season in your life to seek baptism, or to confirm or renew the promises made at your baptism?