The Baptism of Christ, Guido Reni, 1622-1623, Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna)
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
Isaiah 42:1–4, 6–7
January 12, 2020
The first reading for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the same every year. It allows us to see not only how deeper our understanding of the Old Testament has become but also to demonstrate how the same passage from Scripture can be applied to new situations. We will therefore provide the same commentary as last year, and I would assume next year, but with a different application.
The return of the Jewish leaders to Jerusalem was obviously an important event for the Jews. Isaiah, who has a wider view of history, shows us in today’s reading that we must also see it from the perspective of “world” history, God cannot move without disruption. To understand this, we must begin with chapter 41.
Isaiah is creating a trial scene in which God is the prosecuting attorney and Judge. The first case is “Who liberated the Jewish People?” As we proceed, note that the scriptural passages are listed in the headers, but only a small section is written out. Hebrew poetry is a bit repetitive to our ears. Continue reading “Baptism of the Lord – Blessed, Anointed—To What End?”