The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’ John 1: 29-34
The opening chapter of John’s Gospel spends a lot of spiritual capital on baptism even though John the Baptist merely des
cribes Jesus’ Baptism; we don’t actually “see it” happen. The Baptizer says something very important to us, I think: “…I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he [Jesus] might be revealed…” John’s baptismal activity, as ours is, was an act that one participated in for repentance and the forgiveness of sins AND that through baptism, Jesus Christ is revealed. Baptism acknowledges that our sins are forgiven, we are at one with God in Christ, and, because of ALL that Christ has done, His light is revealed in us when we are baptized, and every time we remember that Baptism and renew our commitment to life with God. Baptism is our testimony of faith that we believe God can do all things through the love and power he reveals to us in Jesus. Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord. I cannot overstate how important our Baptism is in helping us to understand how fully saved we are because of God’s revealed love in the world in Jesus and how we, in Baptism, share in the fullness of His life, death, and resurrection.