The Baptism of Our Lord – Series C 

This sermon will proclaim that Jesus has the Spirit and authority to save. We of course know this, but the Baptism of our Lord almost demands that we proclaim it as the Spirit descends and the voice proclaims Him to be God’s Son. The preacher may want to contrast this with those who come with worldly zeal and authority. That often does not end well. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The zealous reformers and the zealous patriots, given authority, often make for much misery.

We know from this same Gospel according to Luke that Jesus does not come with same zeal and authority as these worldly types. Jesus comes with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Living God. That means he does not use his power and authority in the same way as the world. He uses it to bless and save.

This then leads us to two places this sermon really wants to go. What roles does this Jesus, anointed with he Spirit and declared to have authority as God’s Son play today in our lives? First he is the authoritative Son of God. To Him we do not really have a choice about listening, not if we would be numbered among His disciples. When He tells us to love our enemies, that is not optional. We love them and do not heap hatred upon them. When he tells us to proclaim the kingdom of Jesus to this world, we cannot be silent. He has the authority to shape our lives, determine our course, send us on missions, and hold us back. He is the Son of God.

But Jesus also has the Spirit of God. This too is important and too often neglected by us. Jesus is not stingy with his Spirit. He has freely and fully poured out that Spirit on Pentecost upon us all. We encountered that Spirit in Baptism and continuously through Word, Sacrament, Fellowship, Word, and more. That Spirit now makes all our lives different.

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