Baptism of the Lord C
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
Our expectations can have a profound effect on what we allow to happen in our lives. If we have no expectations, believing that nothing can change, nothing will. If we expect the worst, we will do nothing to stop it happening. If our hopes are overly grand and unrealistic, we are building our lives on sand. The trick then is to have expectations that offer true hope yet which are anchored in reality.
Jesus emerged amongst a people who had great expectations. Having experienced centuries of oppression, with the appearance of John the Baptist, they sensed change was coming. Naturally they looked to this dramatic fiery prophet and wondered, “Was this the Anointed One? Was this the new Moses who led them anew out of slavery?” They expected and wanted a great dramatic leader – as did John himself – someone fiery who would denounce evil and stand up to their enemies. But they got Jesus – Jesus who in being baptised in the midst of the people began his ministry by identifying with them in their sin and failure. Jesus, who largely preached out in the countryside to ordinary people telling them that the Kingdom of God was in their midst. Jesus, who forgave sins and assured people that they were dearly loved by God. This is not what they expected.
Rather than being a leader up there, out front, Jesus led in their midst, as he does in ours. This calls for a radical review of our expectations. The transformation he offers is not outside us. Rather he stands with us and wants us to hear the words that were spoken to him by the Father, “This is my Beloved.” In hearing those words and believing them in our hearts, our expectations will be changed. We will begin to wonder what could such a loving God expect of me…and then we will truly have accepted Jesus as the leader he desires to be.