At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. – Mark 1:9 (Mark 1:9-13)
Skipper’s Son grew up in a region always on edge. Centuries of conflict between one sect and ah nudder, between different beliefs, diverse backgrounds and races and loyalties left folks distrustful of one ah nudder. Bandits roamed about. Zealots terrorized folks. Rome ruled, but due ter its distance from seats of power, much of Galilee remained under the control of whatever local militia might ‘ave the most power. Bribes be expected and beatings the punishment fer them who refused. This be the neighborhood the Son come from.
So it whar a fair question fer Nathanael ter ask, “Can any good thing come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46). It be like asking if anything good kin come from the slums of Bristol.
‘Bout that same time, at age thirty, the son of a carpenter set out from Nazareth with no influence, no followers, and no formal rabbinic teaching. Also, ’em who grew up with him held no expectations that he would amount ter anything.
Only a few know him ter be Skipper’s Son, fathered as it whar by the Holy Spirit, and most dared not speak of it.
Down ter the Jordan River the Son walked. Thar he found his cousin, John the Baptizer, calling folks ter repent, and be washed clean of thar sins. Now the Son didn’ ‘ave ah thing ter be washed clean of. He ne’re committed an infraction. But other folks didn’t’ know this. They seen him as jest another chap clamoring ter fall in step with John the Baptizer.
In order ter set things right from the start, the Son waded in ter the Jordan ter show that being washed clean of our filthy living be the first step towards turning ter Skipper and following him, his commands, and his character.
Why Be Baptized?
Ter day ah good many folks ‘ill make all manner and excuses fer why they don’ need ter be baptized. Folks bathe. Folks shower. Folks frolic in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and sea. But they won’ take a dip fer Skip.
Some claim they had water sprinkled on thar head when they was a tiny tot. Only as a tot we kin not recall such an event. The tiny brain of a tot be not large enough ter hold such memories.
Others claim they whar baptized as a youth, but kin not recall how and whar.
Even more claim being baptized be an out-dated way of showing you be a follower of the Son. That such a public showing be of no real benefit ter thar faith.
Only think on this a wee little bit. Doctor Luke writes:
Because they had been baptized by John, all the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right.
But because they had not been baptized by John, the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves. (Luke 7:29-30)
Why Was Jesus Baptized?
The Son knows Skipper’s ways be right, just, and lead ter life. Though it be a mysterious matter, when we be baptized by water, our spirit aligns with Skipper’s Holy Spirit and in doing so we also align with Skip’s ways.
If the Son, Skipper’s only boy, the one fathered by the Holy Spirit thought it worth his time ter take a dip, could it not be a thing we ought ter do as well? The Son humbled himself like the common folks gathered on the banks of Jordan. Doth we think ourselves more high and mighty than the Son?
What Benefits are there from Baptism?
The Son seen the heavens opening. Now that be an odd thing ter see in it self, but right after the heaven’s split, Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth descended upon Son in the way a dove might come ter alight on a branch.
A voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son. In You I am well pleased.”
Would you like ter see inter heaven? Catch a glimpse of the heavenly realm? ‘Ave Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth come upon you in such a clear and obvious manner that thar ne’er be any doubt you ‘ave been washed clean of yer sins? Would you like ter receive Skipper’s purpose fer yer life and know his ways?
Would you like ter hear Skipper say ’bout ya, “You are My beloved one. In You I am well pleased.”
Repent and Be Baptized
‘Ave you done the first things first? Or did you head off on yer walk with the Son without taking the steps he took at the start?
We be called ter follow the Son, not get ahead of him. If you wish ter walk with the Son start at the start with repentance and baptism in water and Spirit. Start now from whatever hood you come from. And should ah feller or lass ever say, “you ‘ill ne’er amount ter anything. Yer jest a nobody.” don’ you believe it fer a second. Once you be in the family of Skipper you be his beloved one and always under his care and protection.
Be baptized in ter the Son and you ‘ill become Skipper’s child. If you ne’re do anything else, that right thar be a right fair accomplishment. Take a dip fer Skip. Then sail on, brothers and sisters and tell others ’bout the Son and Skipper.
Parroting the Prayers of Skip’s Crew
Lord, my Skipper, teach me ter walk in the authority of yer Son. (Psalm 8:1)
“Keelhauling” be a form of punishment whar by a length of rope would be tied ’round and under the ship’s hull. The law breaker of the ship’s rules then be tied ter the rope and tossed in ter the sea. Back and forth, up and down the feller goes ’till he be drowned dead or cut ter shreds by barnacles. Even pirates know thar be punishment fer breaking the captain’s code of conduct and yet a good many think nothing of breaking Skippers Code of Conduct.
Our baptism be a symbolic way of acknowledging we deserved ter be keelhauled fer our offenses—killed fer breaking Skippers Code of Conduct. The Good News is, once we be baptized (keelhauled), we ne’er need fear the sting of death, fer in the Son we ‘ave life and ‘ave it ter the full.