Ministry of baptism
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11
John the Baptist was baptizing people to repentance before Jesus stepped out into His public ministry. These were not believers, but they were people ready to dedicate their life to following the Messiah when He came. This was a new concept. There was no one else baptizing at that time. John was the only one and as He was baptizing people, he told them that the Messiah was coming at any time. He spoke of the Messiah as if He knew Him personally and He did. They were actually cousins.
Interestingly enough, John didn’t tell people who the Messiah was before it was the right time. Even though John had known Jesus for his entire life, he wasn’t going around telling people that his cousin was the Messiah. He did tell people that he, John was not the coming One and there was One coming after him that was greater than John. John kept himself in check by remaining humble when he could have been boasting about their connection. He kept the focus on the one that was coming after him and said he wasn’t even worthy to tie up His sandals. He also said that when the Messiah comes, He will baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Now this was something that got attention. Up until that point, only prophets and sometimes kings and priest had the Holy Spirit. Now they were hearing that they too could get baptized with the Holy Spirit and His fire. This was something to get excited about back then and it is for us today, too. As believers and Jesus followers, we sometime forget the supernatural work that He did when we invited Jesus into our lives and made Him Lord. We were a walking dead spirit brought to life by the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit of God. Oh, that we would revel in knowing that God had done an amazing supernatural work and transformed us into a new creation that never existed before. Think about it.
Today I want to encourage you by first of all saying: Messiah has come and paid the penalty of the sin of the world! Take some time to think about and cherish the relationship you entered into at the point of your salvation. Now think about how that relationship has grown over time and you are so much closer to Him today than ever before. Lastly, share that repentance message with someone today and tell them how they can know Him personally. Keep yourself humble and submitted to His way and you will see the work of the Lord show up in supernatural ways every day.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 3:7-12
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”