Matthew – Day 9 – Baptism of Jesus and Creation

 In Bible Studies, The Book of Matthew

lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.

“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”

Read Matthew 3:13-17 (out loud)

In Jesus’ baptism, there is pattern that was repeated throughout the Jewish Bible whenever a major reset was occurring. The pattern was as follows:

  • Chaos Existed (Represented by Water)
  • Spirit Hovered Over the Chaos
  • New Creation Emerges
  • Shalom (Order) Returns
  • Testing Occurs
  • Chaos Returns/Punishment Results

Let’s take a look at the major moments of the Old Testament where this pattern is evident.

Creation – Genesis 1

  • Chaos/Water
    • Before creation, the water was formless and represented chaos (Gen 1:2)
  • Spirit
    • The Hebrew word ruach means “breath, wind, or spirit”
    • The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters (Gen 1:2)
  • New Creation
    • At creation, out of the void, God created a new world that had never existed before
    • God was pleased
  • Shalom
    • The Hebrew word shalom means “completeness, soundness, order, welfare, peace”
    • The Garden of Eden represented complete order as God intended
  • Testing
    • Man has free will
    • Satan’s goal is to disrupt God’s shalom by tempting man
  • Chaos
    • When man does not follow God’s desires, chaos returns in the form of sin
    • Punishment follows as chaos returns

The Flood – Genesis 8-9

  • Chaos/Water
    • Water came from the sky and from the earth like they had never seen before
    • All living things were destroyed except for those that were on the ark
  • Spirit
    • God sent a wind (ruach) over the earth and the waters receded (Gen 8:1)
  • New Creation
    • God starts over with creation with those that are on the ark
    • Noah offered a burnt sacrifice to God, and He was pleased (Gen 8:20-21)
  • Shalom
    • Order was restored with seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night (Gen 8:22)
  • Testing
    • It doesn’t take long before Noah puts his desires before God’s and he becomes drunk (Gen 9:21)
  • Chaos
    • Chaos enters the world again
    • Canaan is cursed/punished as a result of this chaos

The Exodus – Exodus 14

  • Chaos/Water
    • As the Israelites are escaping from Egypt pursued by Pharaoh’s army, they find themselves blocked by the Red Sea
  • Spirit
    • God sent a strong east wind (ruach) that divided the sea and they walked across on dry land (Exodus 14:21)
  • New Creation
    • The chosen nation of Israel is established
  • Shalom
    • Order was restored through the giving of the law, commands, stipulations, and decrees
    • Testing
    • Israel grew impatient and created for themselves a manmade god
    • Multiple failures occur in the desert from complaining about food and water to not believing that they could take hold of the Promised Land
  • Chaos
    • Chaos disrupts order again
    • Many will die in the desert due to unbelief

Baptism is a public act that shows our commitment to God and our repentance for our sins. That fact that we know that Jesus did not sin (2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 4:15, and 1 John 3:5) has led many to ask why Jesus was baptized. Even John questioned Jesus’ need for baptism in verse 14. Jesus directly answered John’s concern with this explanation: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

I am not sure that anyone can definitively say what Jesus’ answer meant. But it was enough for John to consent to baptize Jesus. What I do know is that what follows is the pattern of reset that we have just examined in the Old Testament.

Jesus’ Baptism – Matthew 3

  • Chaos/Water
    • During baptism, Jesus descended into the water
  • Spirit
    • The Greek word pneuma is equivalent to the Hebrew word ruach (”wind, breath, spirit”)
    • The spirit (pneuma) of God descended like a dove (Matt 3:16)
  • New Creation
    • Jesus will reset the thinking of the people back to what God intended and will usher in a new way for the atonement of sin (This is what we will be studying as we continue through the gospel of Matthew)
    • Jesus will be The Way for the people back to God (John 14:6)
    • After Jesus’ baptism, God said that He was pleased with His Son, Jesus.
  • Shalom
    • This is the beginning of the return to God’s order
  • Testing (Jesus would have known what to expect next because of this pattern)
    • Satan tempts Jesus (We will discuss this tomorrow)
  • Chaos
    • The chaos that remains is a result of man fighting against the order Jesus brought

Is this reset what was required to fulfill all righteousness? I know that the only way that I am made righteous is by coming in contact with the blood of the lamb. So how do I do this? We will discuss this more as we move through this study, but for now I will say this: The way that I come in contact with the blood of the lamb is by joining Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. Here are a few scriptures that will explain that a little more:

Colossians 2:12-13 – “…having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.”

John 3:5 – Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

Galatians 3:27 “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

By claiming Jesus as our Savior and our Lord and being baptized into Him, we enter into our own pattern of reset.

Our Personal Baptism

  • Chaos/Water
    • As we descend into the water, we are plunged into the chaos of our own sin
    • We are buried with Christ as we die to our sin
  • Spirit
    • As we rise out of the water, we are connected to His resurrection
    • Being baptized into Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 1:33 and Acts 2:38)
  • New Creation
    • We are now dead to our sin (chaos) and we are a new creation
      • 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
    • God is pleased (Luke 15:8-10)
  • Shalom
    • This is the beginning of God’s order in our personal lives
    • This is not to imply that after we are baptized our lives are easy and peaceful (that definitely is not what happened in Jesus’ life)
    • However, we can face the chaos that remains in the world with a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:4)
  • Testing
    • One thing that is for sure, Satan will come
    • He will do his best to disrupt God’s order in your life by testing to see if you really have died to your sin
  • Chaos
    • The chaos that remains will be our fight between surrendering to God’s will in our lives, insisting upon doing things our own way, and the results from those decisions

Have you made the decision to be baptized and start as a new creation? If not, consider Christ’s example as He submitted to the Lord. If you have been baptized, are you living differently than you did before you were made new? If your life has not been producing fruit, ask God for forgiveness and recommit yourself to living as a new creation in Christ.

Also, remember that the cycle doesn’t end with becoming a new creation. Temptation will follow. We have to be prepared. We daily have to choose between chaos and shalom (peace and order).

Ray Vander Laan – That the World May Know

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