1/7/15 Heaven Opens For The Son Of God

The next day, John sees a man coming towards him, looking to be about 30 years old.  Suddenly, the Holy Spirit speaks to him, saying, “John, this is the One for whom you are sent to prepare the way.”  John, who has never met his cousin, is in awe.  He watches as Jesus makes His way over to where John is standing in the Jordan River.  He declares to all the people around him, “This is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”  Jesus comes to him and says, “Will you also baptize Me?”  “Me?”  John asks, in bewilderment.  “Why should I baptize You?  I need You to baptize me!”  “It is what God wants for us to do.  We need to do everything that God requires,” Jesus replies.  So they walk together into the river.  John dips Jesus into the water, and when he comes out, everyone there sees a bright light shining down on Jesus, and a dove coming down from Heaven to rest on His shoulder.  Then they all hear a loud voice saying, “This is my Son, whom I love.  I am very pleased with what He has done.  Listen to Him.”  The amazed crowd watches intently as Jesus turns and thanks His cousin, and then departs.  John speaks to the people and says, “Do you know what you have just seen?  This Man, who I have just baptized, is the One I have been telling you about.  He is the One of whom I said, ‘There is One coming who was alive before the beginning of the world, who sent me to baptize with water, and who will now baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  He is the One whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.’  He is the One for whom I am here to prepare the way.  Even though he is my cousin, I had never met Him before.  I knew Him only because the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me that the One on whom the Holy Spirit descends and rests in the form of a dove is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.  He is the Messiah!”

Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-23, John 1:29-34

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