|Theme:||Jesus is the One and Only Begotten Son. The Baptism of the Lord, Yr. C|
|Object:||Two items, one is the genuine article and the other an imitation.|
|Scripture:||And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." Luke 3:22b (NIV)|
It is a multi-million dollar business — selling cheap, imitation designer hand bags, sun glasses, and wrist watches on the street corner for just a few dollars. At first glance, an imitation Rolex® wristwatch might seem like a good deal. After all, a genuine Rolex® would cost thousands of dollars and the guy on the street corner is selling them for only $20! What's the big deal? Who will know the difference? Well, after a few weeks, the imitation Rolex® no longer keeps time. Oh well, it still looks good, you can wear it as a bracelet. But soon then the finish begins to rub off and it isn't very pretty. Suddenly, what seemed like a good deal no longer seems like such a good deal after all!
Buying a cheap imitation wristwatch might not be a great loss. After all, it only cost $20. But when it comes to your relationship with God, it is important to put your faith in the genuine article. There is a lot more at stake than $20. There are a lot of false teachers who claim to know the way to heaven, but Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
When John the Baptist was preaching and baptizing, many people began to wonder if he might be the promised Messiah. John set them straight right away! "I baptize you with water," he said. "But one is coming whose sandal straps I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
As John was baptizing the crowds, Jesus himself came to John to be baptized. As Jesus was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, descended on him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." It was the voice of God, the Father, announcing for all to know, "This is Jesus, my One and Only Son."
People came to John to confess their sins and to repent. Jesus didn't have any sin to confess and had no need to repent. So, why did he come to John to be baptized? He came to John to be baptized to set an example for us. Why do we need to be baptized? To follow his example and to tell the world that we have put our faith and trust in Jesus, the One and Only.
Father, help us to follow the example of Jesus in everything we do. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
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