Daily Devotionals

Trouble Maker Week 2: Tuesday

After Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up out of the water, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on him. Matthew 3:16

Do you remember a turning point in your life? For me, one of these moments was when I was in high school; my family moved five hours away to a brand-new city. This move greatly impacted me. It caused me to grow and stretch in ways I had never grown or stretched before. Moving also deepened my faith in God and caused me to rely on Him for strength when I felt nervous being the new kid in school. This is just one of the moments in my life that felt like a turning point. Today in our Bible study, we will look at a moment that became a turning point and defining moment in Jesus’ ministry on earth.

Matthew 3 tells us about a turning point in Jesus’ life in Matthew 3. In this chapter, He went to His relative, John the Baptist, who was baptizing people. This baptism that John was performing for others represented that the people being baptized were turning away from their sinful lives and wanted to follow God. Jesus shocked John by asking to be baptized Himself. John knew that Jesus was the Son of God and that He did not need to be baptized. After all, He was God, and He was sinless. Therefore, He did not need to repent or turn away from sin. Nonetheless, John ultimately granted Jesus’ request and baptized Him. 

When Jesus came up out of the water after being baptized, Scripture tells us that “the heavens opened up and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming on Him” (verse 16). Then a voice from Heaven was heard that said, “This is my one dear Son; in Him I take great delight” (verse 17). This interesting moment symbolized that God the Father was pleased with Jesus for deciding to be baptized. His baptism both served as an example for us and signified that there was something special about Him. Moreover, it marked a turning point in Jesus’ life because it was only after His baptism that His earthly ministry began, where He began healing people, performing miracles, and telling people how to find life through Him.

 Baptism is a turning point for us in our lives as well. It signifies that we have decided to follow Jesus. It signifies that we have gone from death to life because of Jesus. It shows the world that we are followers of Jesus and want to live solely for Him. This moment marks a shift in our lives when we make this decision. Have you been baptized? If not, what are you waiting for?

Moving toward action

If you have been baptized, reflect on your baptism for a few moments. How did it mark a turning point for you personally? What growth have you seen since being baptized? If you have never been baptized, what are you waiting for? Reach out to a pastor to talk today if you have questions or are ready to move forward with the process by going to www.sagebrush.church/baptism.

Going Deeper

Matthew 3:1-17 (NLT)

"In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” 3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”

4 John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.

7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.

11 “I baptize with[d] water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”

13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”

15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.

16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”