See, Jesus did not need to be baptized. He had not committed sin. There were no transgressions to wash away, no hard heart to acknowledge its rebellion against God. He had no need for repentance…and John was baptizing unto repentance. Jesus was baptized for the benefit of others, not for himself. He did it “to fulfill all righteousness,” he said. Since he was already righteous, his choice gave us a pattern to follow. He identified with us so that we could identify with God.
When we identify with someone else, we step out of the realm of our own need to take on another’s. Perhaps our agendas are full of family and fun, but we take time to visit the lonely whose calendar is sadly absent of activities and celebrations. Or maybe we are in a season of abundance, yet we sorrow with those in the abyss created by loss. When we pray, are present, or provide, from the place of our own fullness, we are choosing to “be baptized” with someone else’s need.
Scripture declares that God dwells in us when we are filled with his Holy Spirit. We become his tabernacle. We become his body. We become his hands and feet and heart. Therefore, when we reach, when we speak, when we love in response to the Spirit’s quickening in our hearts, God reaches and speaks and loves.
In fact, we identify with God greatest when we identify with others, and when we do what Jesus would do, God’s righteousness is manifest in us. He is fulfilled in us. We take the plunge and ripples of our choices reveal the Messiah to our world.
Tip/Tidbit: In what way can you step into someone else's need today? How can you share a load you don't have to carry? How can you be the revealed Jesus to a hurting heart today?