13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
These questions are designed to help discover the message of Scripture. They are not designed to overwhelm, but to enlighten. Do not feel as if you need to answer all – or even most – of these questions. Perhaps pick one or two that will help you explore the Scripture and its message more deeply.
Reading Scripture to Know:
- What is happening/being said? (Observation)
- Why is this happening/being said? (Interpretation)
- What does the rest of Scripture say about it? (Evaluation)
- What does it mean? (Understanding)
- What does it mean for us? (Application)
Reading Scripture to Grow:
- What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
- Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
- How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
- How does this Scripture reveal God?
- How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
- What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?
Scripture Reads Me:
- This passage makes me feel…
- This passage makes me think about…
- This passage reminds me of…
- This passage teaches me that God is…
- This passage teaches me that I am…
- This passage challenges me to…
This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week (sometimes in larger context) and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture. As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.
Use these questions/conversation starters to explore the Scripture a little more deeply with your kids, spouse, or friends during the week! These prompts will be specific to each week’s Scripture passage.
Why do you think we use water in baptism?
Why do you think Jesus got baptized?
My baptism is important to me because…
Image Meditation: Look at the image above. You might remember your actual baptism (like me – I was 15) or you might have been too young to remember it (like my daughters, who were just a few months old). Whenever you were baptized, the important thing is to remember that you are baptized. Baptism marks us as children of God and it initiates us into something much bigger than our own limited life. Reflect on the actual experience of your baptism, if you can remember it. If not, reflect on what it might have been like. Were your parents holding you and connecting you to the long line of Christian faith? Were you standing proudly and boldly, proclaiming your faith for yourself? Perhaps you will also want to reflect upon your Confirmation (if you had one) – that time in which you confirmed for yourself what was done for you at your baptism. Where was God in the experience of your baptism? And what does it all mean for you today?
Breath Prayer: LORD God, thank you for claiming us.