While there is much in these two chapters, I focused in on the baptism of Jesus through these two chapters because it feels to me that everything that follows is tied back to the action of Jesus and the message from the heavens confirming who Jesus was (and is). Jesus’ ability to withstand the temptations in the wilderness, the message beginning to be proclaimed, the calling of the disciples, and the first signs of the miraculous power that Jesus would share with so many. It got me thinking about my own baptism. I don’t remember it, but do I go back to thinking about what that event means for me today? What does it matter to me today that God claims me as God’s own through baptism? While I may not remember my baptism, what a difference it would make in my life, if I remembered that truth.
In his book about the prophet Jeremiah (called Run with the Horses), Eugene Peterson first focuses on Jeremiah’s name and the importance of what it means that we are named. In speaking of this, he notes that at our birth we are named, not numbered. He continues by saying that “No child is just a child. Each is a creature in whom God intends to do something glorious and great.”
Our baptism reminds us of the same – God calls us by name. And God calls us to a purpose to be who God has made us to be.