John the Baptist
So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked
up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a
dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
A few days back, remember that I said John was using a strange technique to try and make friends.
People flocked to see John, some embraced his teaching and some did not and kept watch on him. John did a pretty good job of ticking off Herod. Luke leaves out a lot of details here, but he does mention about what happens to John. Herod had
divorced his wife and married his niece and former wife of his brother Philip. From the other Gospels, we see an elaborate story that ends up with John getting his head cut off. I think Luke writes from the perspective that John’s job was
coming to an end anyway, so Luke focused on where the story really should be. I find it unusual that Luke talks about John being arrested before Jesus is baptized. This is obvious not the case. Luke also spends little time on Jesus’
baptism. He does mention about heaven opening up and the Father speaking “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Here, the Trinity is present with the Father speaking, the Holy Spirit descending, and the Son being
baptized. Luke could have decided that Mark had written more thoroughly about Herod, so Luke simply touched on it. The concluding words from the Father “with you I am well pleased” simply seems to leap out. God is pleased
with his Son. As Jesus begins his ministry, he is anointed and consecrated through his baptism into the ministry. Even Luke knows that the Baptism of Christ is a big even, so he included it in his gospel account. I pray, O Lord, help
me to continue to live in my baptism, which washed me clean, restored me into the Kingdom, and has marked me as a child of God. Help me to teach others about the precious gift of Baptism. Amen