The baptism of Jesus was a problem for his followers, as we have said before. John's disciples could always lord it over the disciples of Jesus: "Our master baptized your master, nah, nah, nah!" It also creates a problem for those hyper-orthodox Catholics today who so emphasize the divinity in Jesus that there is little room for his humanity. They are also boxed in by the phrase that Jesus grew in wisdom, age, and grace. Any suggestion that God might grow scares them.
An authentic Christology, however, which sees Jesus like the rest of us in all things save sin, sees no problem in his listening to the Baptist and going through a ceremony of renewal and rededication before he began his public life. Did Jesus learn anything from the Baptist? If, like all humans, he grew in understanding and maturity, the only appropriate answer is that of course he did.
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
(a story for those who object to the humanity of Jesus)
Once upon a time a family moved into a new house. It was a very nice house with a lot more room than in their old house. However, it was also strange and when it came time to go to bed, the three children were very sleepy. They didnít like their rooms because they were unfamiliar and they didnít like the house because it was not their old house and they didnít like anything because they were so tired. Well, finally they fell asleep and had terrible nightmares. Then they woke up and were frightened and angry.
Their parents didnít come to the room to tuck them in again. This made them more frightened and angry. So they stormed down stairs and discovered that both their parents had fallen asleep in the front room, their mother on the couch and their father on an easy chair. The kids were shocked and dismayed. What good were parents who grew so tired when they moved to a new house that they forgot their kids and just fell asleep.
Their parents were not perfect. So they woke their mommy up and shouted at her. Why did you go to sleep on us mommy? Because Iím human she said and I get tired. Even Jesus got tired. Yeah said the kids but he wasnít our mommy!
1 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to
the LORD glory and strength.
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