This morning a group of us gathered with an ease of being together, with a shared sense of wanting to learn from each other, and with a desire to look closely at our scriptures. We read the text of Jesus’ baptism in the three synoptic gospels (seeing with one view or eye): Mark, Matthew, and Luke. We begin by reading the text in Mark (the first of the synoptic gospels written) and then read the same story from Matthew and notice the similarities and differences. Then we read the version in Luke and do the same. It’s amazing the differences!
Then we begin asking ourselves these questions (focusing on the text to give us the answers):
- What does it tell us about Jesus that he came to John the Baptist to be baptized?
- What if anything does it tell us about Jesus’ relation to tradition?
- Who heard the event?
- Who saw the event?
All this examination helps us discern the differences in the gospels and helps us wonder why the same story is written in many different ways.
We had a great time discussing the following question:
- How would you describe this experience like for Jesus: inner, outer, or what?
Then it was time for personal sharing in response to this question:
- Is this an experience similar to one in your life? If so, what kind or kinds?
There was rich sharing of times of baptism, confirmation, reception into the Episcopal Church and ordination. It seemed that common elements were: humility, consent, affirmation, and a call to do something (or be something) different.
I looked around at the room while in the midst of this sharing, filled with joy, realizing this was another of my “dream come true” moments, which I so often have here at St. Andrew’s.
To read the scripture and view the questions we discussed today, please click here. Approaching the Gospels Section 18