Title: Baptize Nations
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In today’s reading, we discover one of the final commands of Jesus before He ascended back into heaven. Every person who made the choice to surrender their lives to Him and follow Him by becoming His disciple would need to be baptized. Baptism was so important that Jesus was baptized by His cousin John as an example for us. As He did in many incredible ways during His time as a man on this earth, He showed that there is great value in it. So, what is that value?
There is more than one answer to this question, but the major reason is it’s a confirmation (not in the Catholic or traditional church sense) to yourself and to others in the church body you are connected with. It shows that you have not only been forgiven of your sins, but you also share in the death and resurrection of Jesus. These are generous gifts available to us through Christ that we attain as a result of choosing to become a disciple of Jesus. The way we communicate it at The Tree is, “It’s an outward expression of an inward commitment.” Many times, it is the first faith step that new believers make, and can be a catapult to get them encouraged, energized, and gaining momentum toward a life of following Jesus. On top of that, it can be a moment they look back on in times of doubt, a reminder that they can believe they are a child of God. They can have confidence in the good work Jesus began in them (Philippians 1:6). The promises of God that were available to them then, are still available to them today.
- What significant incidents occurred during Jesus’s baptism (Matthew 3:13-17)?
- What insights can we gain about our own baptism when we reflect on Jesus’s baptism?
- Why do you think Jesus was baptized before He began His ministry?
- Why do you think Jesus commands us to be baptized?
- How does baptism help to link you with Jesus’s death and resurrection?
- Why is baptism significant to you?