In Isaiah, it quickly becomes clear that it isn't a conquering leader or a new royal being described as God's chosen one. The details of the mission and the resources employed by the chosen one don't square with those roles. This servant of God is advancing God's will for the creation, advancing the Kingdom.
John the Baptist is introduced preaching repentance and proclaiming that the Kingdom is at hand; time to get oneself right with God and the Kingdom way of life.
In Matthew, John is portrayed as surprised that Jesus seeks his baptism. A swirl of questions - none easily or fully answerable - arise. "Righteousness" figures prominently not only here but throughout Matthew's gospel. Recall the Beatitudes where "righteousness" is a condition, and the teaching that disciples must have "righteousness" surpassing the religious and spiritual leaders.
For us, the challenge is to live into our baptism, to be the key players on the team following Jesus' playbook and advancing the Kingdom faithfully. How do you see yourself contributing to this team? Learn more in the sermon video below.