‘If it's good enough for Jesus then surely it's good enough for me.’ This strong statement attributed to Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, is usually more closely linked to our understanding of Jesus’ Words of Institution for Holy Communion, but it certainly works for the sacrament of Holy Baptism as well.
This coming Sunday the Church universal commemorates Jesus’ baptism in the River Jordan – the act of washing for the forgiveness of sins performed by His cousin, John the Baptist.
But in remembering Jesus’ baptism, we are also reminded of our own gift of baptism which is Jesus’ promise to us of eternal life because it saves sinners from eternal death.
But the question must be asked, "Why did Jesus have to be baptised?" After all, He is the holy Son of God. He wasn't a sinner and yet He insisted on being baptised.
This bit of biblical history raises an interesting question: The Word of God reports that Jesus baptised how many people during His ministry on earth?
The answer is none. John 4:2 tells us that He baptised not a single person.
And still Jesus points us towards baptism many times during His ministry which was immersed in the very essence of baptism. He was baptised with the Holy Spirit and with fire, from the Jordan to Jerusalem to the world.
Now is the season of Epiphany, immediately after Christmas and New Year.
Epiphany literally means, ‘to be made known’, ‘to be exposed’, or ‘to be made manifest’. During Christmas Jesus was revealed to us as the son of Mary, a human baby, born to human parents.
In Epiphany what is hidden is also revealed. Jesus is revealed as the Son of God from eternity, hidden in human flesh, hidden until the day of His baptism.
Can you imagine the scene when heaven opened and God ‘came down’ and spoke publicly and openly for the first time in centuries?
God the Father announced that Jesus was His beloved Son with whom He was well pleased.
God is well pleased with all who are His through Holy Baptism.