The Lord’s Message

Prophecy Fulfilled: You Are Mine

Date:  January 16, 2022
Scripture Reference: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

            Some years ago, in Appalachia, there lived a poor family.  This family was so poor.  Now, your response would be how poor was this family.  This family was so poor that they did not have a mirror in the house.  So, for Christmas, a woman decided to gift one of her many mirrors that she had to this family.  It was a lovely gift.  The mirror’s backing was painted a beautiful golden color.  There was not a scratch or mark anywhere on the glass of the mirror.  Such an exquisite gift.  The family was overjoyed with this gift until the oldest son looked inside the mirror.  The oldest son was shocked to see how hideous he looked in the mirror.  He cried out, “I am so ugly that no one could love me.”  The mother saw the distress of her son and she grabbed hold of her son and held him.  Then she told him, “You are not ugly.  I love you!  You are mine!” 

            We are in the season of Epiphany – the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God.  Last Sunday, we learned that Jesus’  mission for coming to us was not to be the king of the Jews or the king of the Gentiles, but to be the king of all.  This Sunday, we going to learn more about the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God.

            Let us pray.

            If we remember, during the Season of Advent we learned about a married couple that were well past the years of child bearing.  What is impossible for us is not impossible for God.  Their names were Zechariah and Elizabeth.  Let me just give you a brief synopsis.  Zechariah is performing his duties as the priest in the temple when the angel Gabriel appears to him.  The angel tells him that he and Elizabeth are going to have a baby boy and they are to name him, John.  This is found in Luke 1:13-18.  Zechariah and Elizabeth have the baby boy and name him John.  We pick up the story of John’s life with him conducting baptism in the Jordan River.

            With John performing baptism and preaching to the people about God, so people are starting to think that John might be the long-awaited Messiah.  Look at Luke 3:15.  John quickly dismisses all thoughts on him being the Messiah.  John says in Luke 3:16-17. 

            Jesus also comes to the lake to be baptized by John, but not for the cleansing of sins.  For a different reason.  Notice in verse 21 that nobody seems to pay any attention that Jesus is in their midst.  We have all seen many pictures of Jesus.  We have the stained glass window in the church which shows Jesus holding a lamb.  We might be thinking, why doesn’t anyone recognize Jesus?  If we remember what Isaiah says in Isaiah 53:2 about the appearance of the Messiah, then we would realize that Jesus’s appearance was no different than the other men that were coming to be baptized.   So, no one recognized Jesus in the crowd. 

            After Jesus’ baptism, he starts praying.  Jesus is an example for us of the power of prayer.  Before any of Jesus’ divine events, Jesus is praying.  Before Jesus multiplies the five loaves of bread and the two fish, Jesus prays (Matthew 14:19).  Before Jesus comes to the frightened disciples in the storm by walking on the water, Jesus prays (Mark 6:46).  On the night that Jesus was betrayed and crucified, he was praying (Luke 22:41).  Before beginning anything, we should stop and pray. 

            This reminds me of the time that I was traveling with a group of six church friends from Wesley Chapel in Rock Hall to a church in Newark, DE.  We were all traveling in one car.  This was before smart phones.  We had no problem getting to Newark, but finding the church was proving to very difficult.  After going around the street where the church was supposed to be located several times, Lewis Cain, Rev. Cain’s father, ask the driver to pull into a parking place on the street, so that we could pray.  The driver obliged and Lewis led us in prayer.  When we finished praying, we looked up and there right in front of us was the steeple of the church. 

As Jesus is praying after His baptism, the heaven was opened (Luke 3:21).  Jesus’ prayer did not open the heavens, rather God opened the heavens for Jesus.  Jesus was praying.  God heard Jesus’ prayer and God responded by opening the heavens for Jesus.  The open space implies an accessible opportunity between that which separates the heavenly from the earthly.  Heaven and earth have come together.  God and human beings are joined back together.  The relationship that was broken in the Garden of Eden is being restored through God’s Son, Jesus.  This portrays the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth as Revelation 21: 1-7. 

In verse 22, even though this is not stated, you have the presence of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit descends, as best can be described as a dove, upon the Son.  God the Father speaks from heaven.  God confirms that Jesus as His Son by saying “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” 

Please open your Blue Hymnal to page 37.  In our Baptism ceremony, as a person is baptized, the congregation responds with:  “Through baptism you are incorporated by the Holy Spirit into God’s new creation and made to share in Christ’s royal priesthood.  We are all one in Christ Jesus.  With joy and thanksgiving we welcome you as members of the family of Christ.”

With that in mind, then all that believe in Jesus Christ as Lord are welcome into the family of God.  We are one in Christ.  So, I want you to close your eyes.  Picture yourself standing in the Jordan River.  John the Baptist is there and he is baptizing you.  You are completely immersed and come out of the water, saying a prayer of thanksgiving to God.  The skies part.  Then you see heaven open.  There is a glowing beam streaming down from heaven.   The Holy Spirit descends upon you.  Now, you hear God say, “You are my child, whom I love.  With you I am well pleased.” 

Now, you might be thinking like the poor mother’s son that no one could love you, because of what you have done.  I am here to tell you that God loves you not for what you have done, but what God has done.  God sent Jesus to save you from your sins.  God did this because He loves you.  Jesus died on a cross, because Jesus loves you.  You see it is not what you have or have not done, it is what God and His Son, Jesus has done.  You are loved.

God confirmed that Jesus is the Son of God.  All believers in Jesus are one with Him. God says “You are mine!”  Do not let anyone tell you differently.  Amen.