Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
3:15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,
3:16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
3:17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened,
3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
I remember when I made the decision to be baptized. It was shortly after I became a Christian. I remember up until that point I had seen a lot of my friends get baptized but I never truly understood what it meant. After I became a Christian I began to dig into the idea a little more and understood that being baptized is a public declaration that you are a true believer in Christ and that your desire is to grow closer to Him each day. It is a true testimony that you not only believe that Jesus has washed you of all your sins but that you want to live a life that honours Him.
This part of the passage begins right after the people had heard the message of the Gospel and were asking what it was they should do in order to repent of there sins. This comes right at a moment in which they could showcase their faith in Christ by being baptized. However, there are two significant lessons to be learned. The first is what our Baptism means and the second is what Christ’s baptism represents.
1. Our Baptism
The baptism of water was again a public declaration that you were truly repentant of your sin and were now a follower of Jesus Christ. What John is referring to when he says that “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire” is the receiving of the Holy Spirit that takes place after you accept Christ in your heart. This is also something that occurred later on after Christ’s death, resurrection and accession to Heaven. I believe that it also stemmed from the promise that Jesus made to His disciples that He would send a Helper, the Holy Spirit, in His place to guide, protect and convict them as they took on the role of preaching the Gospel.
2. Jesus’s Baptism
It was not necessary for Jesus to get Baptized. He was perfect and sinless. His act of baptism represented a true picture of Humility. He did it as means to show that as much as He was the God of the universe He was also Human. He did to set the ultimate example of what it meant to be humble. Furthermore, it was a foreshadowing of what the next and most important act of humility that would ever take place: His death on the cross and taking on the full weight of humanity’s sin upon Himself. His main motive for doing that was His never changing, unfailing love for you and me.
It is important to remember that the same Holy Spirit that dwelt inside of Jesus is now in us. This is why He told his disciples they would do even greater deeds that He (John 14:12). When we feel like we are pressed to the limits at work, at home, in our relationships, or in our finances, just remember that the power which casted out demons and raised the dead resides in you!
This is why Paul commanded his churches to walk in the spirit and not the flesh.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.(Galatians 5:16)
It is this power that will enable us to live lives that are extraordinary rather than ordinary.