“Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’” vs. 3
When we read the little vignettes from the life of Jesus that we find in the gospels we tend to think we’re getting the whole story, and really we’re not! Those were traumatic and confusing years and tensions were rising in the Holy Land. There was a lot of movement as Jews begun to search for safety and stability…soon there were pockets of them in all the major cities. Paul searched them out as he began his journeys and offered them his perspective on all the things that had taken place. The ones he met in Ephesus had never heard of Jesus but they were very familiar with John…and had been baptized into his baptism. The whole confrontation was probably more complicated than the little excerpt we get from Luke but ultimately Paul convinces them that there was more to the story than they had heard….and they were baptized into Christ. They likely became the core of the Ephesian congregation that was so influential in the life of the early church. The difference maker was the continuing presence of Jesus, what Paul calls the Holy Spirit. The power of that Spirit is what continues to be the lifeforce of the Church. It’s what gives us hope for the future. We are more than disciples of a long dead holy man…we are the living presence of the Incarnate Word of God…and by the power of the Holy Spirit we are changing the world.
Thought for the Day: How did the Holy Spirit come into my life?