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Matthew 3:13-15

Hindering the Work

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Each of us, if we were to draw a graph of our walk with Christ, would see one or two peaks that mark truly memorable moments. We would certainly remember the moment when we made the decision to commit our lives to Christ. Another might be our baptism. If we are in the ministry, the moment that God called us is very special. Perhaps the most special time for any Christian is the day that he sees one of his children receive Christ and get baptized or go into the ministry.

After all the people who had come on this particular day were baptized, Jesus stepped forth from the crowd. It must have been a very special time for Him, because it would mark the beginning of His ministry. He came to be baptized like all the others who were there.

John recognized who Jesus was and was apparently taken aback by His request. Baptism was the symbolic washing away of sin. Could the Messiah, the Son of God, possibly need to be cleansed from sin? The scripture says that John "forbad" Him, or literally "hindered" Him.

Jesus, however, encouraged him. "Let it be." He said. "It is fitting for us to do all good things."

Perhaps the lesson for us in this passage is that we must be careful not to hinder the work of God. "My ways are not your ways," He has told us, yet we are always imposing our ways on His work. Look at how Peter, committed and obedient as he was, hindered the Lord. He rebuked Jesus when He told the disciples of His future suffering (Mt16:22), and at the Lord's Supper he cried, "Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Thou shalt never wash my feet!" (John 13:6-8)

Moments like these would certainly be some of the lowest points on our graphs. They would be times when we discouraged someone by pointing out all of the negatives of what he was called to do, or when we convinced ourselves that we already do enough for the church or for the mission field. They would be moments when we know that God is speaking to our hearts, but we refuse to listen.

Jesus did what was fitting for any righteous man to do. He humbled Himself and set the example for us. He encouraged John and set him at ease. Because John obeyed, Jesus was baptized and, next to His miraculous birth, death and resurrection, it was the most important day in history. It was the beginning of His ministry.

Do you ever get in God's way? Perhaps you never thought about that. If you are like the rest of us Christians, however, you can be assured that there are times when you hinder His work with negative thoughts, doubts, and poor decisions. From now on, try to be more aware of what God is doing and follow Jesus'example of obedience.

Before The Throne:

Pray that God would show you where He is at work in your life. Ask Him to give you a positive attitude toward His work and a desire to encourage others. Ask Him to help you join Him in His work and to use you in spite of your weaknesses and doubts. Ask for a servant's heart and humbly thank Him for including you in His kingdom's work.

For Further Study:

** Matt 2:22; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21;

(v.14) ** John. Luke 1:43; John 13:6-8; ** I have. John 1:16; John 3:3-7; Acts 1:5-8; Rom 3:23, 25; Gal 3:22, 27-29; Gal 4:6
Eph 2:3-5; Rev 7:9-17;

(v.15) ** Suffer. Joh 13:7-9; for. Ps 40:7-8; Isa 42:21; Luke 1:6; John 4:34; John 8:29; John 13:15; John 15:10; Phil 2:7-8; Heb 7:26; 1Pet 2:21-24; 1John 2:6;


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