An interactive session between the moderator and the members of Bed Briefing House.
Topic: WHY BAPTIZE GOD MADE MAN?
Date: 10th January, 2021.
Venue: Bed Briefing WhatsApp House.
Moderator: Mr. Kevin Umoette.
Collation: Miss Adaobi Obiekezie.
When I was woken with this topic I was racked with series of thoughts especially knowing the person of Christ as one without blemish and in whom the first sin of our forebear (Adam), had nothing to do with him!
All the same, we’d try to see some reasons for the baptism of Jesus, God made man!
The baptism of John the Baptist bore witness to that of repentance, that is why he was clearly heard crying in the wilderness that the way and path of the Lord should be made straight.
This path necessarily isn’t the four lanes that we use to navigate to various destinations across the country and globe but that of our hearts.
Our hearts having come to the knowledge of good and evil needed to be placed on lane of perpetual knowledge of good (which is Christ) and that invariably takes us to try crafting out the reasons for the baptism of God made man!
The baptism of Jesus firstly carries a similarity with our celebration of Epiphany last Sunday, his revelation to the world (though with the star as a sign), this star lighted the paths of the Magi till they met the Messiah – confirming the words of Christ, I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will have the light of light. And today, the sign of his revelation is water; also confirming his words, I am the living water, anyone who drinks of this water shall never thirst again.
In this light while understanding these two notions of Christ as the light (illustrated in the celebration of the Epiphany) and water of life (illustrated in his baptism which is celebrated today), I’d like us to move on
The next point I’d love us to know and note as to why he was baptized is;
His baptism was a means of identification!
Identification with who?
The people he came to redeem.
In identifying with these people, he gave us a blueprint of what we know imbibe for this journey towards eternity and the things we ought to do without!
My question therefore is, why did Christ identify with the people he came to redeem and what were these blueprints he laid out for us to imbibe for this journey towards eternity?
He identified with the people he came to redeem, first to have a feel of what they feel.
Second to show them the way back to the Father (that’s why he usually consulted the Father before any project of His) and lastly to lay out blueprints to marry the above two…
And these blueprints are all encapsulated in the events of his baptism….
The dove (the symbol of humility, meekness, gentleness and love.
The voice of God (affirming first ownership, then a symbol of listening).
And then water (the mark of salvation)
Now to the blueprints:
The Dove 🕊️..as a symbol of humility and every other virtue.; In his words, anyone who lowers himself will be exalted…even the wordings of our blessed Mother Mary affirms it too in the catena.
In humility, we are able to show love, understanding, care and meekness to our fellow man.
In humility, the Lord listens to our plea: “this lowly one called, the Lord heard him and rescued him from all his distress” Cf. The Book of Psalms
In humility, we are able to proffer solution to the needs of our brothers and sisters.
In humility, we’re able to forgive one another and not be judgemental: Jesus and woman caught in adultery, Zacchaeus and his promise to pay back what he forcefully took away from people….
And so many others!
Now the voice affirming ownership: “you’re my beloved son, in you I’m well pleased”.
This gives us an insight about the exhortation of Paul Apostle, “for all who have been baptized in Christ Jesus have now bore the mark of ownership, they’re are called, sons of God!
So being his baptism was a symbol of a regenerative beginning, and it also served as imprint of sanctity, thus it’s a life giving sacrament.
The Bible was written in masculine language, some translations incorporates the sisters and in a concise manner some addresses both as “brethren”.
Don’t feel cheated please
In the aspect of listening (the voice), it takes one who is ready to learn and make amends to have this singular virtue…
Now it might interest us to know that during his baptism, it was not only Jesus and John the Baptist that were there, others were too but it was John the Baptist and Jesus Christ himself who basically heard the voice addressing Jesus as his son.
This address was personal only to Jesus, meaning at the point of our baptism, we’re personally addressed by God as His!
The rest of people there couldn’t because as at the time of Christ’s baptism, they could not recognize him as the Christ and that is why twas only John the Baptist who proclaimed “behold the lamb of God” and in turn question him why he should come to him for baptism which Christ retorted in response, that it’s to fulfil all righteousness sake…
But since our world is so full of noise these days, most of us loose this virtue due to trends, negligence and so many other factors
The voice heard could also be likened to the inner voices in us: “I’ll write my laws in their hearts and no longer on tablets”.
And the water…
The mark of our salvation.
Systematically cited by Padre in his homily today when the spirit of God hovered upon the waters at the time of creation, the time of Noah, parting of the red sea by Moses and the piercing of Jesus’ side with a Lance all symbolically showed redemptive (salvation) journies.
Since baptism is the sacrament of initiation, a life giving sacrament.
It carries the powers to cleanse (Naaman and the prophet Elisha – to go wash himself at the river Jordan; Jesus and the man at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well).
This cleansing grants healing powers from infirmities (sinfulness) and confers salvation (uprightness).
The next point to why the baptism of God made man (Jesus), was for the opening of the gates of heaven (easy accessibility to these gates as portrayed in Christ’s life, seeking the Father’s consent always)…
Let’s not forget that these gates were shut due Adam’s sin of which we all became victims of by virtue of him being our forebear…
It equally made us a new creation in Christ
Cf. Gal 3:27, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Gal 5:10 – down…
Twas not after the descent of the dove…
There was an argument between Christ and John on who was fit to baptize who.
John the Baptist took out this argument because he recognized Christ before his baptism.
The descending of the dove was the conferment (affirmation) of his identify…
And lastly, the baptism of God made man was a source of blessings to the family (the one he came from and that of the Christendom).
Cf. Ephesians 4:17-24, 29.
GENERAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS………
I hope those people standing and witness Jesus’ baptizm excluding John were also baptized as well? If so.. And like you said that our world is so noise that we can’t hear the voice during our own or maybe lack of virtue. Then my question is:
Does it mean that those ppl being baptized then that their hearts are noisy or they lack the virtue that made only John the Baptist and Jesus to hear the voice of God?
Answer: I didn’t say we can’t hear the voice during our baptism…
I said that our world is so noisy, that makes most people not hear this voice not because the voice of God is absent at that point but because some don’t even understand why they’re being baptized.
The people that were baptized then at the time of Christ’s baptism didn’t lack the ability of hearing the voice, the virtue of listening because most didn’t understand why they were even baptized.
Please I want to comment on the last statement. The gospel of Matthew 3:15 captures the response Christ gave to St. John the Baptist. In my opinion, Christ accepted the baptism of immersion that was practiced by John the Baptist just to share in our human nature, not sinful nature. Also for the Father (God the Father) to publicly declare him for his salvific mission.
Is there any difference between the baptism of Jesus and our individual baptism? If there is, can you discuss briefly??
Answer: There’s a difference between Christ’s baptism and ours…
That of Christ was principally for identification with the people he came to redeem and commissioning for his salvific ministry.
Whereas that ours is principally for our rebirth in Christ through which we’re granted cleansing from the marks of original sin.
Christ’s baptism equally was to sanctify the water of baptism whereas ours is for our sanctification through the sanctified water.…
According to catechism, Baptizm makes us children of God. And again for our salvation.. Does it mean that one who is baptized entitled fully to God’s kingdom? Or what does it entails more?
Answer: Baptism first of all gifts us a rebirth in Christ and One who is baptized in Christ Jesus becomes son.
When you’re talking about entitlement, it comes with work. That’s why we’re exhorted to work out our salvations with fear and trembling. – Philippians 2:12-13.
…..……So it entails more.
I believe we all have learnt alot from today’s session.
Thank you for your time and God bless you!!!