has been revealed to you
After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, â€œThis is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.â€
We know that John preached a baptism of repentance. He was calling all of Israel to repent, starting with washing in the waters of the Jordan in preparation for the coming of the Messiah who was â€œat hand.â€
Jesus obviously had no need for a baptism of repentance. He is God and is without any sin or error. John immediately recognized this as Jesus approached him: John tried to prevent him, saying, â€œI need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?â€
Yet Jesus came and insisted.
Jesus was baptized because He wished to cleanse the waters. We are baptized in the waters He cleansed, waters imbued with His grace of regeneration. In being baptized Jesus set an example for everyone who would follow him. After all, if the sinless Son of God would willingly enter the waters of baptism, how much more urgent is it that we be washed in the waters of regeneration.
While these reasons are of great importance to us, and are essential to our salvation, the key reason for Jesusâ€™ baptism is that it was His anointing as King, High Priest, Prophet, and Messiah before all of Israel. In Acts we hear Peter telling Cornelius and his household that at the baptism of Jesus: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.
Jesus, sent by the Father to inaugurate the Kingdom definitively was anointed by the Holy Spirit and presented before all as fulfilling His office.
The beauty of our Epiphany-tide is that in it we celebrate the moments of Jesusâ€™ revelation. He became known to the poor and lowly through the humble shepherds. The gentiles and the wider world knew Him through the Magi. He became known to all of Israel and took His rightful place through the fullness of revelation at His baptism where the Father called Him â€œmy beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.â€ and where all heard it and saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Him in the form of a dove.
In the waters of regeneration we became one with Jesus. He is revealed to us in His word. Through the Church and our family we learn all about Him. We must bring the Epiphany to others; making them aware of what has been revealed to us. Invite and welcome them to the waters of regeneration, to oneness with Jesus, and to a share in His kingdom with us.