“Jesus and John: Rival or Mentor?”
Reading: Matthew 3:1-17.
Preacher: Rev Kevin Kim
This Sunday, we are continuing the Summer Series 2023 (Edition #2). Kevin will continue to follow the set reading for this week from the Narrative lectionary.
How did Jesus and John the Baptist relate to each other? Unlike the shepherds and the magi, John does not have a place in the Christmas creche or pageant. Matthew 3 begins by introducing us to John the Baptist. Matthew suggests that his message had a wide appeal, and that people came from Jerusalem, all Judea, and regions beyond. The Jewish historian Josephus, writing at the end of the first century, provides more information about John the Baptist than he does about Jesus, suggesting the popularity of this figure in at least some Jewish sources. Typically, baptizers are assumed to have more authority than the baptized; moreover, John baptizes “for repentance,” something Jesus should not need. What does it mean that Jesus was baptized by John? Did Jesus hold John in high esteem, as a respected teacher and prophet? Or did a certain amount of rivalry develop between them? Kevin will engage with these challenging questions to help the congregation to see both John and Jesus determined to sacrifice their lives for God’s kingdom and justice.