Baptism of Jesus – Divine introduction
The Church has just entered another Season in her Calendar, called The Epiphany, which is derived from the Greek word, epiphaneia, which simply means “manifestation” or “showing” or “revelation.” It reflects the manifestation of Jesus to the world, especially the Gentiles.
The Epiphany is traditionally marked on January 6. Some traditions, including the Roman Catholics, observe Epiphany as a single day, with the Sundays following Epiphany counted as “Ordinary Time.” But for most Protestant and Reformed Church traditions, including the Anglican Church, the season of Epiphany extends from January 6 to Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter.
Today, the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany Day (January 6) is used to mark the Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Collect for the day invoked God as the “Almighty God, Who anointed Jesus at His baptism with the Holy Spirit and revealed Him as your beloved Son.” This draws our attention to the fact that the baptism of Jesus was another point of the epiphany, or manifestation, or revelation of Jesus, this time, as God’s beloved Son. The baptism of Jesus served as the occasion for His Divine introduction.
As God introduced Jesus, so He also introduces or presents or connects us and paves way for us to reach where He wants us to be and operate.
The early part of Jesus’ life (before the baptism/Divine Introduction) was silent, as nothing much was heard of Him. But after the Divine Introduction, the situation changed; obscurity was broken and His relevance was released. The next chapter following the Baptism account in Luke 3 carries the report: “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all” (Luke 4:1,14, 15). Thenceforth, Jesus started to manifestly impact lives, and systems started listening to Him.
Divine Introduction means God Himself announcing, presenting or showing one to the world. When God introduces us, His glory, rises on us, our gifts and abilities are showcased. we excel in our endeavours, as we will be operating under open heavens.
Divine Introduction is God being honoured by God, and God honours those who honour Him (1Sam 2:30). Jesus honoured God by His obedience and so, God was pleased to proclaim or introduce Him as His well-beloved son (Matt. 3:17).
As we enter the New Year, we need to examine ourselves to ensure that our lives honour God. It is when we do this that He will be pleased with us and introduces us as He did our Lord Jesus Christ.
• The Venerable Dr Princewill Onyinyechukwu Ireoba is the Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com