How do you view traditions? Are traditions a driving force behind your choice of church? Do you understand the reason for each tradition? Or are you someone who take or leave traditions?
We have traditions for all types of things. We have pregame traditions. We have traditions for our holidays. Some of us have vacation traditions. We might even have traditions for our family dinners or parties.
There are several traditions within many denominations. There is even a tradition to not have traditions! Some traditions have morphed over the years as they have been passed down. Minor alterations here or there and the tradition no longer looks like it did a few hundred years ago.
In today’s passage, we see a tradition that continues today. Yet, the tradition has been morphed to some degree or another by some. There are three different options for baptism. One is to drip or drizzle water over someone, and most often used for infant baptism, but can be used for adult baptisms as well.
A second is pouring, which some may not have heard about. However, there is extra-Biblical historical writings that record the Apostles using this method at times. Specifically, they most often used it for someone on their deathbed who wanted to be baptized.
The third option is full immersion. As many of us have seen or heard, John the Baptist fully dunked Jesus under the water in the river Jordan. This was the most common method used by the Jews and early Christians. In fact, the Greek word baptizo, translated to baptize, means to immerse.
Jesus followed the Jewish tradition in order to fulfill prophecy and to convince His followers He was a true Jew. He knew the reason behind the tradition. He was committed to the reason, not simply the act. May I suggest we investigate our traditions to understand why we have them.
I pray we all seek to understand our traditions. I pray we follow our traditions for the right reasons. I pray each one of us discern the difference between man-made and Bible driven traditions. Seek to understand. Know the background of your traditions. Follow Biblical traditions. Be wise and discerning about man-made traditions.
Mark 1:9-11 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”