While I was studying the book of Matthew, for my last two posts, I was struck by something I hadn’t noticed before. As I read the account given by Matthew, of Jesus’ baptism, I was somewhat puzzled by the people’s reaction or should I say lack there of?
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.
This portion of scripture ends chapter three of Matthew and then we go right into chapter four where Jesus is lead into the wilderness to be tempted. I don’t know about you but it seems like this was a great occasion to worship almighty God. And yet, there is no mention of anything resembling worship in this account from Matthew, or for that matter, any of the other gospels.
Let me see if I got this right, I said to myself as I was studying this out. You mean to tell me that … Jesus rises up out of the water and the people witness the Holy Spirit descending upon Him as a Dove … the heavens open up to acknowledge it … and the very voice of Almighty God speaks … yet there is no mentioning of anybody falling to their knees in awe of God? There is no mention of John or anyone else’s reaction to this miraculous event? Did the crowd of witnesses just go on about their merry way as if this was no big deal?
Now, perhaps the people there were confused by all they had just seen. They thought that John the Baptist might be the Messiah. Luke 3:15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.
But even so, to see something so powerful, so supernatural, and not be taken over by the sheer awe of it … how can that be? How do we miss what’s right in front of us? Oh! How we would all do well to read the scriptures with the fullness of heart so that we may truly know what to celebrate and when to celebrate. Maybe if one or two people had fallen on their knees others might have followed suit. I say this because isn’t that just what happens for most us? We wait to see what others will do. Or, we miss what’s right in front of us. Let’s take a look at an Old Testament scripture from the book of Jeremiah.