When Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan, he approached John to be baptized by him. John found Christ’s request unacceptable, saying that he was the one who needed to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus answered John that they should do this to fulfill all righteousness. John baptized the Lord, and when Jesus came up out of the waters, the skies opened up and John saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Jesus is the true beloved Son of the Father.
When Christ came up out of the water, the voice of the Father declared openly that this is his own beloved child. In the same way, when we are united to Christ through the Holy Spirit, the Father declares us to be his own children. In baptism he invites us into his household and washes us clean.
Thank you, Father, for making us your children and cleaning the stain of sin from us.
Yet their intention seems to be to give expression to the true meaning implicit in the sacrificial rituals, insisting that prayer and praise, repentance, confession and obedience, are the essential requirements of God. Worshippers are asked to admit that they cannot give God anything to satisfy his needs and yet he is to be honoured by every expression of faith, gratitude and obedience. What is required of those who would come into God’s presence is purity of heart and life (e.g. Pss. 15; 24; 119).
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. pp. 45-46.
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Peterson, Engaging with God