Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 5 Study # 3
May 21, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<250> Thesis: Prayer actively "includes" God. Introduction: Last week we looked into the issue of Jesus' baptism as a public declaration that the theology of John was exactly on target. Jesus was not "baptized" to reinforce the flawed beliefs of those who think that their actions recommend them to God. "Baptism" at John's time in history was not about "gaining credit with God" at all. In those days, people were baptized as a statement of agreement with the teaching of the baptizer. The "notion" that God is "impressed" and "swayed" by the actions of those who are attempting to exalt themselves over others is a development that took place later. Without exception, those who are "baptized" in order to obtain favor from God are seeking to elevate themselves above others -- an effort that is as wicked as can be imagined. Thus, last week we took courage from the fact that Jesus, by being baptized, was forcefully declaring that all those who come to God by way of repentance for the purpose of being forgiven are accepted by God and cleansed of their sins. This, of course, makes the issue of "repentance" a very large issue, but we have addressed that over and over so that we will not go further into it again at this time. What we are going to go into at this time is Luke's next comment on Jesus' behavior. His words to Theophilus are that, not only had Jesus been "baptized" by John, but while that was taking place, Jesus was "praying". It is this issue -- the fact that Jesus was praying -- that we are going to zero in on this morning. Our question is this: why does Luke "buttress" his message that Jesus powerfully affirmed the legitimacy of John's "theology" by recording the one further aspect of Jesus' activities -- that He "prayed" -- while ignoring all of the "other" things Jesus did at that time?