In today’s study, we will examine the baptism and temptation of Jesus.
1. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS.
(Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23a) reveal the baptism of Jesus. Why was Jesus baptized by John even though He was without sin?
n Jesus was “about thirty years old” (Lk. 3:23) when He came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. Thirty was the prescribed age for priests to begin their ministry (Num. 4:3). Joseph was 30 years old when he began serving the king of Egypt (Gen. 41:46), and David was 30 years old when he began to reign over Judah (2 Sam. 5:4). Age 30, then, was a good time to begin an important task in the Jewish culture.
n Why was Jesus baptized by John even though Jesus was without sin? Remember John’s baptism was a sign of confession and repentance with a view to forgiveness of sin.
n Here are several reasons why Jesus was baptized:
a. First, Jesus was baptized “to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt. 3:15).
(1) Perhaps Jesus chose to be baptized, even though He personally had no need to repent, in order to please His Father (Jn. 8:29). Jesus was baptized because He was being obedient to His Father’s will through John the Baptist which was to focus on God’s kingdom (Mt. 3:2).
(2) Often times we wonder “why” we should do the things that Jesus asks us to do. For example, we wonder why (a) Jesus wants us to love our enemies (Mt. 5:44); (b) Jesus wants us to rejoice when we are persecuted (Mt. 5:12).
n We do not always need to know “why” before we do something. Instead we should just do it. Obedience is doing what God or Jesus said, believing that it is the best thing for us.
b. Second, Jesus was baptized to identify Himself with sinful men.
(1) Immediately after His baptism, the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. There may be here a picture of the “scapegoat” that symbolically carried the nation’s sins into the wilderness (Lev. 16:1-10).
c. Third, Jesus was baptized to identify Himself as the Son of God. God officially announced that Jesus is His Son.
d. Lastly, Jesus was baptized in order to receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit so He could fulfill the functions of the messianic office (See Mt. 3:16—Isa. 61:1 Acts 10:38).
(1) Jesus received the Holy Spirit after baptism just like we do (Acts 2:38). Jesus was now ready to fulfill His messianic office to be the Savior. He was given the power of the Spirit in order to minister (Lk. 4:14).
Why should we be baptized?
a. Receive forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16).
b. Enter into the Kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3-5).
c. Live a new life (Rom. 6:4).
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
n The Bible teaches it is (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). In the New Testament, there was no such thing as an unbaptized Christian.
Examples of Baptisms:
was baptized (Matthew 3:16).
The people at Pentecost were baptized (Acts 2:38, 41).
Simon in Samaria was baptized (Acts 8:12, 13).
Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized (Acts 8:38).
Paul was baptized (Acts 9:18; 22:16).
Cornelius and his household were baptized (Acts 10:48).
Lydia and her household were baptized (Acts 16:15).
The Jailer and his family believed (Acts 16:31) and were baptized (Acts 16:33).
Why do think many religious people believe that baptism is not important and necessary for salvation?
2. THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS.
From (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13), we read about the temptations that Jesus experienced. What were the purposes of these temptations?
a. First, Jesus was tempted to show us that He was sinless in order to prove His moral right to be our Savior.
(1) It is important for us to understand that the biblical writers must prove that Jesus was without sin (Heb. 4:15) because if He wasn’t then His sacrifice would be useless. In the OT, the animal that was sacrificed for sin must be unblemished, without defect or sin (Ex. 12:3, 5). Since Jesus was our Passover Lamb (John 1:29), then it was important for Him to be without sin (Heb. 9:14).
b. Second, Jesus was tempted in order to show us that we can defeat Satan and escape his temptations.
& (Heb. 4:15) “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
How did Jesus defeat Satan and his temptations?
a. Jesus defeated Satan and his temptations by using the Word of God. “It is written.”
n There is power in the Word of God. (Eph. 6:17) explains that God’s Word is a sword that we should use in spiritual combat. Satan is constantly tempting us to follow his ways and not God’s ways. So when we are under attack, we must quote Scripture and obey it.
b. Jesus defeated Satan and his temptations by focusing upon God.
(1) Every time Jesus was tempted, He not only quoted Scripture, but He also focused upon God. Every Scripture that He quoted made reference to God (Mt. 4:4, 7, 10).
n Too often when we are tempted to sin, we focus on the sin itself and its pleasures. And when we do this, we often fail because sin is pleasurable. Instead, we need to have God at the forefront of our minds and focus on Him and not the sin.
c. Jesus defeated Satan and his temptations because He predetermined that He was going to serve God.
& (Lk. 16:13) “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
& Joseph, in (Gen. 39:7-9), predetermined that he was not going to commit a sin against God by sleeping with Potiphar’s wife. “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
What temptation do you struggle with the most?
Share with the group some strategies that you use to defeat Satan and his temptations.
1. This concludes our study on the baptism and temptation of Jesus.
2. Our next lesson will focus on the character of Jesus.
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