THE SIGN OF JONAH

Bible Reading: Matthew 3: 13-17

Text verse
16. And after being baptised, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and behold
the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and
coming upon Him.

Today I want to speak to you on the Subject of Baptism.

But before we start a Theological argument about which method of Baptism is
correct, let me state just this one fact:
Remember that one day we will all stand before a Jesus who was baptised as an adult by going down into the River Jordan !

Mark 1: 10
And immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him.

The real question today is:
Why did Jesus go down to the River Jordan to be baptised by John the Baptist ?
There are four reasons why Jeus went down to the River Jordan to be baptised.

THE FIRST REASON
Jesus came to the river Jordan to obey the Father and submit Himself to the Father.

Matthew 3: 15
But Jesus answering said to him, Permit it at this time, for in this way it is fitting for
us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted Him.

The New English Bible says:
We do well to conform in this way with all that God requires.

By allowing John the Baptist to baptise Him, He was obeying His Heavenly Father.
Baptism is a sign of obedience, a sign that we are prepared to submit to the will of the
Father.

Listen to the Words of Jesus:
Mark 16: 16
He who has believed and has been baptised shall be saved, but he who has disbelieved
shall be condemned.

After obeying, Jesus went forward in authority to rule over the devil.

THE SECOND REASON
Jesus also came to the Jordan willing to take a lowly position and to submitted and accept
ministry from His cousin.

Are you prepared to accept the Ministry of others even if they are not as knowledgeable
as you are ?

He went away to be looked after by angels, to be with wild animals, and to prepare for
service.

Mark 1: 13
And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan, and He was with wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.

THE THIRD REASON
Jesus also came to the Jordan to be anointed with the Spirit. He left behind his family friends and possessions and put Himself at the disposal of the Father.

It is interesting to note that prior to the Baptism of Jesus and His anointing with the
Holy Spirit, there are no recorded Miracles performed by Jesus.

After His anointing, He followed the Spirit into the desert, ready to lead men and women
and to call them to follow Him.

Baptism in the Holy Spirit follows the Baptism in Water.

Are you prepare to seek the anointing of the Holy Spirit ?
Many fear that they many receive a counterfeit Spirit instead of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 11: 11-13
Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish, he will not give him a snake
instead of a fish, will he ? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion,
will he ? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him ?

THE FOURTH REASON
Jesus also came to the Jordan, as the Lamb of God.

John 1: 29
The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

As the Lamb He went down into the water to symbolise death, and came up out of the water to begin offering new life to the world.

The Lamb implied that Jesus was to be the greatest sufferer of all time.
Jesus paid the price for your sins on that cruel Cross !

BAPTISM HAS FOUR PHRASES

1. Jesus went down into the water to symbolise the end of His old life.

Romans 6: 3-4
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus have been
baptised into His death ? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism unto death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

2. He rose up from the water to begin a new life.

A Life of Service.
Baptism reminds us that we have been raised up from the old life to a new life
of Service in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5: 17
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away,
behold, new things have come.

3. He stood praying.

Luke 3: 21
Now it came about when all the people were baptised, that Jesus also was baptised, and
while He was praying, heaven was opened.

Baptism does not guarantee us a problem free life. But through prayer heaven's
doors are open up for us and we now have access to all the promises of God !

4. The heavens opened and the Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove.

The question often asked:
Why did the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus in the form of a dove ?

Throughout the Bible we read that the people demanded a sign that it was really
God that was speaking to them.
We think of Gideon and the sign of the fleece.
We think of Joshua and the sun standing still.
Even John the Baptist asked God for a sign so that he could recognise the Messiah.

John 1: 33
And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptise in water said to me, He
upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who
baptises in the Holy Spirit.

Even those following Jesus asked for a sign.

Matthew 12: 38-40
Then so of the scribes and Pharisees answered Him saying, Teacher, we want to
see a sign from You. But He answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous
generation craves for a sign, and yet not sign shall be given to it but the sign of
Jonah the Prophet.

The Sign of Jonah - What was the sign of Jonah ?

Matthew 12: 40
For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the Belly of the sea monster, so
shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

But friend, there is more to the Sign of Jonah than Jesus just talking about His
death.

To understand the Sign of Jonah, we need to learn more about Jonah.
Jonah the name means: Dove

The dove pointed to Jonah (the name means dove).

The dove was an alternative offering for Jews who could not afford a lamb.

When John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove
it was a fulfilment of the Sign God had promised him - the sign of Jonah !

John 1: 33
And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptise in water said to me, He
upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one
who baptises in the Holy Spirit.

THE FULFILMENT OF THE SIGN OF JONAH

1. The Sign of the Dove.
Jesus was the sacrifice for the Common man. The poor man who could not afford
the normal sacrifice.

The Sign of Jonah, the dove, proves that Jesus died for you and I.

2. The Sign of Jonah proves that Jesus is the Saviour of the world. He remained in the
grave three days and three nights in fulfilment of the Old Testament Prophecy.

3. But the sign of Jonah also reminds us of the message of Jonah. Jonah preached a
message of repentance to the city of Nineveh.

God the Father wanted to spare and save the City of Nineveh and so He sent Jonah
to warn them to repent.

John 3: 16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Jesus came to preach the same message that Jonah preached, a message of repentance,
a reminder that we need to turn from sin and turn to God !

Nivneveh, repented and was spared.
The only Question that needs to be answered in this day is:
Have you repented of your sins and turned to God ?

Only then will you be saved on the day of Judgement !

AMEN

Pastor CSJ Claassen
Goldfields Revival Centre
PO Box 99
WELKOM
9460 SOUTH AFRICA

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