Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 9, 2020 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 1:9-11 (NKJV)
1:9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
There are those who see something in today’s reading that is not there; and there are those who miss what is.
The latter are those who fail to see the Holy Trinity as present at the baptism of Jesus. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are seen all at once, distinct from one another. There can be no nonsense about the name of each Person being just a title or mode of operation of God (the way today’s “oneness Pentecostals,” or ancient Sabellian and other “modalists” would teach). Rather, at the Jordan we see each at the same time, and when Jesus commands His Church to baptize He asserts that all three are nonetheless One: “…baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The former are those who wish to see in “immediately, coming up from the water” a prescription for the mode of Baptism. They try to force this to mean that Jesus came up from underneath the water, having been dunked into it, and inappropriately they teach dunking a person to be a requirement of Baptism. They miss, however, that in Acts 8:39 it is not only the baptized eunuch, but Philip as well, who are described as coming “up out of the water.” If their contention were correct, both the one being baptized and the one doing the baptizing would have to be submerged in water.
We pray: Enlighten our minds, we beseech Thee, O God, by the Spirit which proceedeth from Thee, that, as Thy Son hath promised, we may be led into all truth; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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