Luke's account of Jesus baptism is the most subdued of all the accounts. It is almost an oh yeah, when all the people were being baptized Jesus was too. When Jesus prayed after the baptism however things got a little more interesting. The Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus in the form of a dove. This had not happen to any of the others baptized, only Jesus. Only Jesus caused the voice of God to be heard as well. This was no ordinary baptism, this was a proclamation of what God was doing in their midst. The genealogy while tedious, lets us see that Jesus has a heritage, and that heritage is just as the profits told it would be. The family line runs through David all the way back to Adam, which places Jesus firmly in the hands of God.
Be imitators of God! As if we did not feel enough pressure following Christ, now the standard is to imitate God. With that daunting thought ringing in our heads we must ask what does it mean to imitate God. First, this is not a call to become a god. There are some religious traditions which the end goal is to become a god. Paul is telling us to fashion a life so that our life is the embodiment of God here on earth. This will require a significant departure from the way the world around us functions. The theme of living differently continues here in this passage. Those who are following Christ live a life which is markedly different because of Christ.
We are made in God's image, and by the very hand of God. In other portions of Psalms we are told we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). God has fashioned us into the person we are, or at least the hope of the person we could be. When our lives become focused on following God, our lives begin to look more and more like what God has created within us. In this process others will scoff and think we are wasting our time. It is not our job to answer them with words, rather with our life and allowing God to take hold and shape our lives.
1 Kings 15 and 16
The tragedy continues. Not only does it continue but it seems to be getting worse. The only real exception is Asa, whose heart was with God. All the other kings we are told did even more evil than the ones who were before. They lead the people of Israel and Judah to worship false gods and act with the evil they were living. This is all a far cry from the days of David. Easy to forget is back to when the people asked God for an earthly king. It is intended the people of God would have no king other than God. Warning came from God about what would happen if they had an earthly king, and the people ignored it. Now as we read in 1 Kings, the fruit of disobedience is coming to bear.