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The Coronation of the King, Jesus baptized by John Matt. 3:13-17

June 22, 2014 Series: The Gospel of Matthew

Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 3:13–3:17

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Matt. 3:13-17  Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. 16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

This week past was more hectic than usual. I was exhausted every night and put off my study until Friday.

We'll be looking at the baptism of Jesus. This passage is full of interesting questions for us to ponder. There is much for us below the surface.

What this passage isn't about is "Jesus got baptized, so YOU should get baptized." If you haven't been baptized, you should be baptized, but yours will have little in common with what is happening here. And it will have everything to do with what happened here.

This short passage is about the coronation of the King!

Everything Matthew writes has something to do with Jesus as King. So far we've seen the Kings geneology, 1:1-17 the Kings birth, 1:18-25 the Kings adoration, 2:1-12 the Kings attestation, 2:13-23 and the Kings forerunner 3:1-12.

13Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.

The would-be kings summarily dismissed, the rightful King enters.

Such is the contrast between the Pharisees and Saducees, the rulers in Satan's kingdom, and the Lord Jesus, Ruler in God's kingdom.

Last week we witnessed John's scathing rebuke of the current crop of rulers in Israel. It was quite a sermon - John's, not mine - and notes are available if you were missing. God's hatred of false religion contrasted with His love for His Son.

Matthew is a master storyteller, and he uses these contrasts, blackest black next to whitest white to help our minds understand.

Then Jesus arrived introduces us to the adult ministry of Jesus.

His step father took the family to Nazareth for safe keeping when He was an infant, and except for one little look when He was 12, in Luke, He has been silent for 30 years.

The authorized version says; Then cometh Jesus . .

In the original language there is great purpose in those words. This wasn't a trip to the corner store. It was 70 miles up the Jordan valley to Galilee from where John was ministering. This is a trip with motive. The time was come. Time to end the quiet silence. Time to be revealed to the sons of Israel. Time to begin the march to the cross.

There is some speculation, and it may have merit, that age 30 was when John the baptist would have normally succeeded his father in the temple as priest.

John doesn't do that. John begins this ministry of baptizing people into a repentence of their sin in preparation for the messiah of Israel. Jesus is 6 months + or - younger than John so people speculate that John had been baptizing in the wilderness for about 6 months. Speculation all. But certainly possible.

Then cometh Jesus . . This is the beginning of the events that would change history. When we're done here, the calendar will change to reflect this one life. This is the King's coming out, if you will.

13Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.

This is a shocking way to begin, and no one is more shocked than John! John's baptism is towards repentence from sin. And the sin-less lamb of God comes asking John for baptism. It's 180 degrees out from what we would expect. And John agrees.

Vs14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”

The verb tenses could be translated, John kept trying to prevent him

I got up this morning and my inner being reminded me, I'm not wired to be the sinless lamb of God. I'm wired to sin. Nothing in me wanted to do what is right. I'm laden with sin. So was John.

Even though he was spirit filled from his mother's womb, he had this same fallen nature I do, and the idea of him baptizing the Son of God, just seemed backwards.

15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.

There is much for our interest in this verse. Jesus says, Permit it, suffer in the old kings english. Suffer now. Allow this now. Allow it at this time.

You're right, John, any other time this would be illogical. But not right now. Suffer it now. Presently.

And here's the reason; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness

What would the inverse of that statement be? To not do this in this way at this time, would be . . unrighteous. Righteousness is the arguing point. Allow it at this time, in order to accomplish righteousness. The righteousness of God.

That's the argument and the reasoning becomes, God wants us to do this in this way for the sake of righteousness. This is what God wants. Now.

Much has been written about all the ways this fulfils some kind of ultimate righteousness. And much of it is arguably correct. But I think what's going on here is simpler. Permit it at this time, because that's the Father's will. And that's all John needed to hear.

There's a two letter word in there that gets me excited. I did have some time this week during my labors at work to meditate. And this word jumped out at me in one of those times.

us Us! It's a tiny word with huge implications. God includes US in His business. God wants something done, and He doesn't just do it in a vacuum.

Probably it would be far more efficient to just get stuff He wants accomplished, done in a vacuum without us. But He graciously includes US.

for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness Personal / Possessive pronoun - 1st person plural. Us isn't in the list of personal possessive pronouns. Ours is. In the original language, Jesus is saying this is ours to fulfil. We own this, John. More in our vernacular.

And you don't have to be John the baptist. God wants to work through . . us . . to fulfil His righteousness. But there's usually one little problem that stands in the way of all of us having a LOT more fruit than we do.

Do you see it there at the end of Vs. 15? Then he permitted Him.

How often have I stood in the way of what God wanted to accomplish, because unlike John here, I didn't permit Him. That's a great lesson for all of us! I'm praying for a church full of people who stop what they're doing and permit Him to do what He wants. 24 - 7! Preaching to myself first. All of us need to hear this though.

God wants to use us . . Tonopah Community Church . . to fulfil all righteousness. And at first glance, we may be like John and just shake our collective heads, because it doesn't make sense. Like the Son of God coming to a fallen sinner in order to be baptized. It doesn't make sense. Why would you do that God. It should be the other way around. We may need to listen very carefully some times as He's saying to us, Permit it at this time.

Personal Possessive 1st person Plural. It takes 2. We can only own spiritual warfare, when there's 2 involved in the ownership. Him and me, Him and you, Him and all of us in this room. Our numbers just doubled! It isn't 22 of us going out to fight, it's 44. He goes along to own the action with each of us.

I'm seven weeks into this new phase of ministry. And I'm trying to be patient. But the truth is, I can't wait to see what God is going to accomplish for His glory, in this church. Fasten your seat belts.

16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water;

My parents were baptists. Sort of. We went to baptist churches. Fundamentalist baptist churches. Mostly. I have roots there. The church I was saved in was Non-Denominational, so I have deep roots in that background too.

When I got to Tonopah, I didn't want anything to do with Southern Baptists as a denomination. I guess I was somewhat vocal about that because Russ Daines wouldn't let me teach. He said I wasn't a team player. Fair enough.

It's been just the last 6 or 7 years or so that I discovered John Piper, and Al Mohler, and Mark Dever, Southern Baptists, and reformed, that made me think, I would be proud to associate with them. I'm a lot more sympathetic to the Southern Baptist convention than I once was.

All that to say, Jesus came up immediately from the water. There is no arguing possible here but that John's baptism was a complete immersion.

If God so grants that some time in my stint of feeding sheep that a baptism is in order . . you can count on getting dunked. The Word of God is showing us baptism by immersion in this passage.

I'm anxious to do things according to whatever pattern the Authoritative Word of God shows us. More on that later. I'm breaking you in slow.

16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water;
and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

This is a jaw dropping passage.

This is the coronation of the King who will depose Satan, the usurper and reign on the throne of David forever. There has been nothing like this before, or since!

So a little re-cap. Jesus comes to John and says, baptize me, please. John says, that's just wrong. I need You to baptize Me. Jesus talks him into it. Permit just this time. This is what the Father wants. This accomplishes the righteousness of heaven. John says, OK.

Think about a different scenario. What if Jesus had pulled John aside for a little 1 on 1 meeting out beyond the willows, and told him, we're going to do this, and you're going to baptize me, and the heavens are going to be split open, and the Holy Spirit is going to descend on me like a dove, and the Voice of God Almighty is going to come down from the opening that goes up into the heaven where God dwells.

Even mighty John would go weak in the knees. The greatest man born among women would melt into a puddle.

How wise is God's plan to tell us just enough. He compels us to move forward, a step at a time, by obedient faith, not knowing what lies ahead.

John lifts Jesus up out of the water; and the Triune Godhead visits a little muddy river in the desert to announce “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Isaiah near the end of his prophecy makes this plea to God.....64:1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,

Listen again to Matthews account; Jesus came up immediately from the water;
and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

God sent His Son to dwell on earth with men. It's no coincidence that Matthews account of the coronation of King Jesus sounds like Isaiah's plea.

God rent the heavens and came down. As a dove. The voice of the Father affirms. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased. All three persons of the Trinity are present here in one place at one time.

But look again at Isaiah's plea. This is startling. Breathtaking.

1Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence—

2As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!

Just as God fulfilled the first line in Isaiah's plea, He's going to fulfil the remainder.

Jesus is coming to this world again. He's going to rend the heavens open and He's going to come down, just like Isaiah said, but this second time, He's going to make the mountains shake into pieces, He's going to be a consuming fire, His name is going to be known to every adversary, and the nations are going to quake in fear.

In Luke 12 Jesus looks forward to this time, and the next lines of Isaiah's prophecy. 49“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50“But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!

The first time God rends the heavens and comes down . . as a dove.
The second time God rends the heavens He comes to cast fire onto the earth.

Remember what John the baptist said. I baptize you with water, but one is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and fire.

Jesus is going to accomplish both of those. The heavens will be rent open 2 times. Once for peace. The Holy Spirit descending as a dove. And once for judgement when Jesus charges out of heaven on a white charger with all of His saints, and judges all of the wicked.

That's a mystery to the old testament saints. 2 comings. 2 rendings of the heavens. Once in peace, once in judgement. Even John didn't see that coming. He just says he's coming with the Holy Spirit and fire. It was a mystery.

Here we are - in the church age - 2000 years later, and the age of grace, the age of forgiveness and peace in the Holy Spirit is still present today. No fire - yet.

But a little further down in the luke passage I quoted, Jesus says this - about that.

Lk. 12:54 And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. 55“And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. 56“You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?

Friday night I was talking with my brother in the driveway at Kirk and Carmen's house, and this very thing came up. Signs of the times. Here's my observation. Take it and $2.45 and get a cup of coffee.

I believe our nation has surpassed anything the Romans ever dreamed of when it comes to wickedness. For one thing, we began with SO much more information than the Romans ever had. That same chapter in Luke is also where it says, to whom much is given, much will be required.

Whether the history re-writers like or not, this nation was founded on and grounded in principles of righteousness taken directly from the King James bible. It had Puritan roots.

That means our descent was from a far higher place than Romes and we have now descended to a far deeper wickedness than Rome's.

Ask yourselves then, why has God witheld judgement? He judged every other wicked place and government well before they reached the depths that we are now at. Why are we still here?

Again, fwiw, I think it's because the judgement with fire is so close now, that God is just waiting, while America gives Him the gesture with it's collective outstretched hand.

Vs. 17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

I hope I've frightened you - just a little. There's no safety in America. It's judgement looms. That hammer is about to drop. So where then, is there safety? “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

The only safe place, in this world that's about to be judged with fire, is in Christ, whom the Father loves, and is well pleased. In Christ.

Paul says to the Colossians, Ch. 3 vss 2-4; 2Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.…

Epilogue
3 years later: Passion week. The temple in Jerusalem. Just before Jesus is arrested and ultimately crucified. In Luke 20, He's teaching in the temple;

1On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him,

These are the same folks, many of them I believe were there at the Jordan when John confronted them calling them vipers. False religion. Some of them no doubt were present when Jesus was baptized by John.

2and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?”

This is a trap. If He says, my heavenly father has given me all authority, they plan on killing Him for so-called blasphemy, making Himself equal with God. If He says anything less they'll discredit Him and drive Him out.

3Jesus answered and said to them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell Me: 4“Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”

The baptism of John is the answer to their question. He is the annointed one. All heaven was in agreement on that day of coronation. His authority on earth was given to Him by His Father in heaven, via the Holy Spirit, at His baptism.

From that day to this one, Satan is on notice. He is a lame duck ruler waiting for the fire from heaven.

5They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6“But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” 7So they answered that they did not know where it came from. 8And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Let me finish our thoughts this morning with a verse that Daniel the prophet wrote for us nearly 500 years before John's baptism.

Daniel 9:24 says;
Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city,
to finish the transgression,
to make an end of sin,
to make atonement for iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy
and to anoint the most holy

The baptism of Jesus, that day, at the Jordan River, by John, began the process of completing this list of final things.

It was the anointing of the Most Holy. And if you'll recall, what did Jesus tell John allowing His baptism would accomplish? to fulfil all righteousness.

Every one of the things in that list of things to be finalized, began the process of completing this prophecy, at the baptism of John

He will make a finish to the transgression,
He will make an end of sin,
He will make atonement for iniquity,
He will bring in everlasting righteousness,
He will complete all vision and prophecy
because He was anointed as the most holy.