John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus

I preached last Sunday on Matthew 3, and the audio is posted here: http://fpcsantarosa.org/mp3_files/092709-Tim%20Stafford.mp3

A brief summary: I talked about John the Baptist and why Matthew chose to start introducing Jesus through introducing him. John is an odd figure, the only person in the New Testament whose clothing and diet are described, a preacher who doesn’t preach where people live but in the desert.

The sermon discusses the historical impact of John, Jesus and the good news they preached. It talks about repentance as something meant to prepare us for Jesus’ coming into our world. Repentance is reorientation, turning from what interferes with or distracts from God’s purposes, and toward God to facilitate his entrance into our world.

I also talk about Jesus’ choice to be baptized, though he had nothing to repent of. I think Jesus shows himself as wanting to “join the church,” identifying with ordinary people at ground level. That is what pleases God so much, and it is Jesus’ consistent method for changing the world.

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