Meditation

Meditation for 11/01/2019

“He replied, ‘I will also ask you a question. Tell me, John’s baptism—was it from heaven or form men.’ They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, From heaven, he will ask, Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.’ So they answered, ‘We don’t know where it was from.’ Jesus said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’” (Luke 20:38)

Jesus confronted the religious leaders with a painful dilemma: was John’s baptism from heaven or from men? Now that John was safely dead, they were willing to acknowledge him as a prophet to curry the favor of the people, if for no other reason.

They had, however refused the baptism of John, which was the heavenly sign of the dawning Messianic Age that Jesus was fulfilling. By he very witness of John they should have accepted Jesus. They were rejecting Jesus as they had rejected John. This blatant contradiction exposed their hypocrisy.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, we Your people, have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and call out to Him in our time of need. We understand the Triune Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We also understand that when Jesus said, “If you see me, you have seen God and for God and I are one.” This is the cornerstone of Christianity, and it gives both peace and comfort to us at all times. It is in His name, we pray. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

KNOWING GOD:

“As I begin to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts11:15-16)

Peter defended his acceptance and baptism of he Gentile converts in Caesarea by appealing to the promise of Jesus, that although John baptized in water, they would baptized with the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit came in power upon the converts of Caesarea, God was obviously approving them. God and His Spirit are the final authorities as to who should be baptized. Human prejudice and tradition should not prohibit believers from baptism.

I AM:

Ordinances, Baptism by Holy Spirit: (Acts8:12-17)

The ones who believed Phillip as he preached the gospel of he kingdom and the name of Christ were baptized, but these first converts in Samaria did not immediately receive the Holy Spirit. When Pee and John came form the apostles in Jerusalem to see these new converts, the fact that they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit shows they expected them to receive the Spirit at the beginning of their Christian lives. Laying hands on them was an old biblical sign of the bestowal of the Spirit. At other times the Spirit came while they were preaching, before any baptism or laying on of hands, as at the house of Cornelius. Thus, the Spirit cannot be programmed rigidly, but the coming of the Spirit is closely associated with confession of Christ and baptism throughout the Book of Acts.

Second Thought of the Day:

“After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. This was before John was put in prison. An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over he mater of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi,’ that man who was with you on the other side of he Jordan—-the one you testified about—-well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.’” (John 3:2226)

Only John’s Gospel give an account of Jesus’ ministry in Judea, paralleling the ministry of John the Baptist. Jesus’ ministry brought two areas of conflict: with the Jews who wanted to interpret John’s baptism as some kind of ceremonial washing like they practiced and with John’s disciples who were jealous of the response to Jesus.

John was true to his witness in 1:26-34, rejoicing that Christ the “bridegroom” had come and must become greater. John’s baptism was very different from the Levitical rituals of washing. It was the sign of he Messianic Age, which Jesus was bringing to fulfillment in His ministry.

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