River Rock Baptist Church
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
All To The Glory of God

John Lesson #4

John Lesson # 4
John 1:6-8, 15, 29-34



Jesus’ first journey out of the carpenter’s shop will be a 15-mile journey to the rim of the Jordan Valley. There, standing waist deep in the water is a man whose outfit, if he bent over to drink, would make him look like a small camel.  John is his name, but he is not the writer of this gospel. He is an intense man, busy with preaching and baptizing. He is busy preparing the road for the king by admonishing men to repent of their religious misdirection that has led them to believe they can be saved by keeping the law or by good works.


Read John 1:6-8, 15, 29-34


When John the Baptist, sees Jesus, he acquiesces, suggesting Jesus baptize him. But Jesus has come to model what God wants from men. And the beginning point of a man’s healthy relationship with God is in humbly submitting to God’s command that he be baptized. For everyone except Jesus, baptism is only effective if one has repented. Jesus had nothing to repent of, but He still modeled something for us by being baptized. Baptism for Jesus was the beginning of His humiliation for our sakes. A sinless king is baptized. A sinless king will bear our sins on the cross. Isaiah said He would be numbered with the transgressors. His baptism says He is a king who totally identifies with his people. It was the beginning of Jesus’ bearing our iniquities. It would all consummate in what he called the "baptism I must be baptized with" [lk. 12:50], the complete immersion into the penalty for sin, death on the cross.  That cruel tree was grown by Him…and was much like the raw material He would turn into beautiful furniture or sturdy structures. But on this tree would hang nothing beautiful, but a mangled Savior drenched in my sins and yours. 



God affirms the sacrificial nature of Jesus’ life when He has the classic poor man’s sacrifice, a dove, light on Jesus immediately following his baptism.

At his birth, he stepped from heaven to take on our flesh. At his baptism he waded out into the water to stand with us in our sinfulness.

As Jesus is baptized, listen. Do you hear it? Do you hear the soft flutter of God’s Spirit settling on Jesus’ shoulders?

If you’ve ever wondered how God feels about someone being baptized, listen to what He said at His son’s baptism, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." What has this Son done to merit such approval?  He hasn’t taught in the synagogue. He hasn’t triumphed over Satan.  He hasn’t preached a sermon, cast out a demon, healed one sick person nor made a single disciple. He just waded out into the middle of the Jordan and allowed Himself to be immersed. And the heavens roared approval! "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!"  Baptism is very important!

Why was His Father so pleased? Maybe it was for the same pleasure Joseph had when he saw the young Jesus standing next to him in the shop, mimicking his every move as he worked the wood with his hands. Though the young boy has not made anything of His own, He was so eager to learn and so willing to work. He was so attentive to His father’s voice and so submissive to his instructions.

It was on His baptismal day that Jesus left Joseph’s wood working business and went to work for His real Father, full time. From then on He will hang on his Father’s every word. Every decision, every thought will be carried out with concern for the Father’s will. The driving force of His life will be the question, "Will this glorify my Father?" What father wouldn’t be pleased with a son like that?


The purpose of our baptism is to publicly announce that a child has been born into the family of God. And Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecy that a Holy Child would be born and so the purpose of John’s baptism was that Jesus Christ should be announced as the Messiah.

John 1:31

    …that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.


The Lord Jesus was an obedient Son “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). He was “without sin” (Heb. 4:15), therefore he was baptized along with the sinners, according to God’s will. He ate with Publicans and sinners, and he was crucified as a common thief between two sinners. The Lord Jesus was indeed, “a friend of publicans and sinners!” (Luke 7:34; Phil. 2:8; 2 Cor. 8:9; Isa. 53:12).

Heb. 4:15   For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Phil. 2:8   And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


2 Cor. 8:9   For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.


Isa. 53:12   Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


Matthew says He   ...went up straightway out of the water...


That he “went up straightway out of the water,” indicates that his baptism was an IMMERSION. The eunuch and Philip “went down both into the water” (Acts 8:38), and Philip baptized the eunuch. “Baptism” is the Greek word “baptizo” transliterated into English. Baptizo means to dip, immerse, or cover completely.


...he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:


Comparing this with the parallel reference of Luke 3:22, perhaps the Holy Ghost’s “descent” rather than His shape was “like a dove.”


This was the anointing of the Lord Jesus Christ “with the Holy Ghost and with power” for his earthly ministry (Acts 10:37-38).

Acts 10:37-38  

    That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power…


The Lord Jesus completed his ministering on earth. Then after his death and resurrection, he went into the tabernacle in heaven as our “great high priest” (Heb. 4:14), with his own blood, to make an atonement for our sins (Hebr. 9:11-12)!


Heb. 9:11  

    But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12   Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.


Matt. 3:17   And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.


The gospels record the voice of the Father from heaven THREE times.

1. At Jesus Christ’s baptism (Matt. 3:17).

2. On the mount of transfiguration (Matt. 17:5).

Matt. 17:5  

    While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.


3. At the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:28).

John 12:28  

    Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.


Have you heard God’s voice? What would He have to say about your life? Is it time for a ‘life swap?’ Do you hear His voice calling out to you, wanting you to start a new chapter of your life for Him? It’s time for many in our church to step up to the plate, and take on a new level of commitment…to give God ‘Higher Ground’ in your heart! Come for PM services, get involved in kids ministries or visitation.


If you’ve never been saved, realize Jesus traded places with you. He wants to trade your sin for his salvation.

                   [some portions courtesy Bud Ross]