Naming names

Isaiah 43:1-7; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Rejoice, all who prepare weekly sermons. This is the year that Luke tells the story of Jesus’ baptism. Luke makes less of repentance as the basis for baptism than do the other two synoptic writers; in fact, the word “baptism” occurs only twice in Luke’s third chapter, and is not even included in this Sunday’s reading. Thus a potential problem is avoided. If Jesus lived without sin, as Paul insisted, why did Jesus undergo a “baptism for repentance”? Some have encouraged the church to reopen this question. But not this Sunday.


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