The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding of “the baptism of suffering” with a readiness to grow in full surrender to the will of God.
“I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”
35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
36 And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”
37 And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
39 And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized…”
- The Scriptures above quote Jesus referring to a baptism he himself would be baptized with – what is this baptism?
- When James and John requested honorary positions in Christ’s future kingdom, Jesus said it would require “being baptized with the same baptism” he would experience – what did Jesus refer to?
- Biblical baptism refers to being “immersed” in something so that afterward you enter another desired state of being / reality of life (see three previous posts on Baptism for examples). To what desired reality would this Baptism of Suffering lead Christ as well as James and John?
Reflection and Application
- Why does the baptism of suffering lead to honour / glory / promotion?
Consider that suffering while doing the will of God brings one to a point of greater surrender to the will of God – where you metaphorically “pick up your cross and follow Christ” (Matt 16:24). And because you surrender more of yourself to God, God can entrust more to you. The point of the Baptism of Suffering (sometimes called ‘baptism of fire’) is exactly that – willful surrender and entrustment of self to God – even when it hurts. And God honours that. (Phil 2:1-10)
- Can I escape the Baptism of Suffering as a Christian? (hint: 2 Timothy 3:12)
- It seemed as though Paul looked forward to this Baptism, so that they may know Christ: “That I may know Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.”(Phil 3:10)
How do you feel about Paul’s passion to share in the suffering of Christ? Do you already relate with this suffering, while doing the will of the Lord?
Pray freely to God about this baptism of suffering – whatever is on your heart.
For further reflection read these posts on suffering
Suffer well http://walklikejesus.net/2014/08/18/suffer-well/
Suffering, our good tutor http://walklikejesus.net/2014/08/25/suffering-our-good-tutor/
When you walk through the fire http://walklikejesus.net/2015/01/07/when-you-walk-through-the-fire/