Weekly Devotion – John 3:23
Published 12:41 pm Wednesday, January 15, 2020
By Mike Caton
John 3:23, Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water and people were coming and being baptized.
John was also baptizing, which tells us that someone else was too. That someone is Jesus in the previous verse. For some reason we don’t often think about Jesus baptizing many folks, and later we will see that his disciples baptized more than he did. But regardless of numbers, Jesus and John were both baptizing. John the evangelist tells us that John the Baptist used this spot because there was plenty of water and people were coming to him. Those would both be great things, imagine if we had a steady stream of folks coming to us to be baptized, what if there were baptisms every day. That would be a great thing and it would require much work to continue to teach those folks. Baptism is a beginning, not an end.
And the fact that there was much water there gives us another clue about these baptisms. The Greek word is baptizo, it was transliterated over into English. But the word itself means to dip or plunge, to submerge completely, to put something completely under the water. You would need much water, if you were going to put folks completely under it.
Their baptism was a baptism of repentance of getting ready. The message these men preached was get ready, the kingdom is coming. It is not here yet, but it is on the way. But confessing their faith, but repenting and changing their actions, but submitting to immersion, these folks were acknowledging and announcing their readiness for the kingdom of God that was about to be ushered in. The kingdom will not come until after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He will then ascend back into heaven and tell the apostles to wait. And it is on the day of Pentecost the kingdom of God, the Church, is established. Peter there commands baptism, for the forgiveness of sin and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, as the means to enter that kingdom. Are you ready to be part of God’s kingdom?
Father, thank you for allowing me into the kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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