“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented.” (Matthew 3:13-15) It must have been rather a surprise to John when Cousin Jesus showed up that day. John certainly did not have him in mind when he was preaching all that hellfire and brimstone! However, here he is, coming forward to repent and accept baptism. But wait a minute, hasn’t the church always maintained that Jesus is like us in every way except sin? If that is the case, what is up with this and is it any wonder that John tries to “prevent” him? However, our Lord insists and it seems to me that what that reveals is this: Jesus so completely identifies with sinners that he will even help with the repenting. Because if he is not repenting of his own sin, than whose sin could it be other than yours and mine? He really does know us to the point that he knows we cannot even repent very well. We minimize (or maximize); we plea-bargain and blame others. We say things like, “Well I may have done that, but at least I’m better than that guy!” And in all that failure to repent properly we only show just how desperate we are in need of grace and forgiveness. So Jesus steps forward surprising John and shattering our old world, inviting us into his new reality — the new reality of a God who knows us completely and still loves us! This week, remember your baptism! Remember that your life is now bonded to the Lord’s who is willing to do anything to save us. Have a great week.