What we might not understand at first, however, is why Jesus wanted to be baptized. He had no sins that needed to be washed away. He had nothing to be repentant about. John picked up on that right away: “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus answered, “Let it be so now.” He did it for us - for each of us! No, he didn’t have to be baptized for the forgiveness of his sins. But he was baptized anyway. He stood in line with the others who were there. He wanted the world to know that he was willingly standing with sinners, in the place of sinners.
It’s not a question of whether or not one of the sexes can do it as well or better than the other. It’s a question of orderliness, an order determined by God himself. It’s a question of service to God and to one another that leads both Christian men and Christian women to respect God, respect his order and respect each other.
On the Day of Pentecost, in Acts 2, when Peter and the apostles began speaking in tongues that day – it was clearly a known language to all the different ethnic groups that were up at Jerusalem that day. God was using all these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit to help blend his Jewish/Gentile church into one body under Christ as its head.
This life, which has been wholly corrupted by sin, is filled with grief and sadness and many, many unintended consequences. God knows just how devastating sin is, which is why he sent all of us a Savior from this sinful world. The hell he created was never intended for us! It was intended for the devil and his angels. But you and me, the apple of God’s eye, he is recreating a perfect heaven and a new earth, one where the consequences of sin will no longer enter therein!
I remember a little tag on a stroller that my wife and I owned that had these instructions on the stroller – “WARNING – do not fold up this stroller while baby is in it!” We thought the tag was a joke. I mean how ridiculous is this warning? Of course, living in a society that is sue-happy, it’s understandable that lawyers from these companies are doing everything they can to prevent companies from being sued for delinquent behavior. Sometimes, I think the church gets a similar reputation by putting out all these “Do’s” and “Don’ts” out there, but very few “whys” and so people tend to look at the church as just another warning label that very few people pay attention to.
As I’m formulating an answer to this question, our daughter from the Fox Cities forwarded a television news link. The reporter describes an ongoing investigation of an apparent drive-by shooting that happened last night directly across the street from the parsonage where she and our son-in-law live. The house was sprayed with bullets and a man inside was wounded in the head. I didn’t think this was that tough of a neighborhood, but evidently more so than I expected. And, as always – and especially when dangerous things are happening – the angels of God are present to protect God’s believing people. But, the question still pops into a parent’s mind: “Are they living in the right spot?!” The answer is “yes”. Our son-in-law is called by God through the people of the church to this place. This is where he is supposed to be. This is where God wants him to serve – bullets and all – with his blessing. It’s a divine calling. And, that’s reassuring to know!