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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday September 21, John 3.22-30

John 3.22-30

22After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. 23John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized 24—John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. 26They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. 28You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ 29He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Thoughts:  The baptism that John the baptizer and Jesus offered were not Christian baptism.  Instead it was a form of an entrance ceremony that communicated a new start, a literal turning of oneself around so that one might reorient oneself to a life that is turned toward God.   In some ways we are talking about conversion.   Latter, Jesus is going to connect Christian baptism to his life, death and resurrection.   Christian baptism is not based in the the repentance of sin or the turning of oneself around; but in the joining with Christ and being connected with him to the promises of salvation.   Jesus honors John by not only being baptized by him in the Jordan, but also by likewise sharing in his mission to call folks to repentance.  But as John himself said, this will decrease as the good news of God in Christ must take prominence.
Questions:  Do you think it's OK for Christians to be rebaptized?  Is baptism about you or about God?  Is it still important to have a time of repentance and renewal?

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