Monday, May 17, 2010

5 Blessings for Fathers Day

Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"
15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Father's Day is June 20th this year. On that particular Sunday I will be speaking at Crossroads Bible Church in Elkton, MD. I'm excited for a few reasons. It's my home church when I go back to my hometown to visit. It's attended by a lot of friends from my childhood and the Pastor is a lifelong friend and sort of a big-brother figure to me. It's indeed an honor and a thrill to be asked to take the pulpit for Pastor Tim that Sunday.
I am especially excited because it is the first time I'll be bringing a teaching I have been working on and researching for a while now. I call it: "Filling the Dad- Shaped Vacuum...5 Blessings From Your Heavenly Father"
The core of the message is receiving the 5 specific fatherly blessings found in the narrative of the baptism of Jesus. I used the version from Matthew 3 here but the event is captured identically in the synoptic gospels while John does not mention the event. It's a lot of material, so I will make this a series here on this blog.
Today will be a background. I suggest you read the passage a few times as we dig into it over the next week or so. Dad's...there is some real meat here and a really beautiful view of the blessings God the Father bestowed on His son Jesus. It is a model of the blessings our children all desire from us, and also of the blessing we so desperately seek from God, and which He so desperately wants to bestow upon us all.
The narrative opens with Jesus approaching John the Baptist who was, at that moment, baptizing in the Jordan River. Note here that John was called "the Baptist" because he was baptizing, not because he was an SBC member. Nor do Baptist churches find their doctrinal origins in John. (you'd be surprised how many people think otherwise, and how necessary that explanation actually is)
It was traditional for a Hebrew priest to begin his ministry work at age 30 and to begin it with baptism. Jesus was, in fact, 30 years old at this event.(Luke 3:22)
Jesus was not in need of baptism as the others were who were there that day. But He chose obedience to the will of his Father. So after some persuasion, John agrees to Baptize Jesus.
The bible says that as soon as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened and a dove (the spirit of God) descended on Jesus and landed on Him. And then God spoke those Five blessings that we all need to speak to our children and all need to receive from God the Father.
Tomorrow we will discuss the first blessing.

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