By Marlin Jeschke

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Cf. Jer. 8:1315). Jesus himself later referred to Israel in those terms in the parable of the fig tree. "A man had a fig tree . . and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser . . ' "(Lk. 13:67). Preservation through the coming judgment and a share in the life of the new messianic age were not assured on the basis of Abrahamic descent, said John. "Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, Page 26 God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham" (Mt.

N2G 4M5 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 82-23406 International Standard Book Number: 0-8361-3318-8 Printed in the United States of America Design by Alice B. Shetler 83 84 85 86 87 88 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Page 5 I dedicate this book to my three children, Eric, Margaret, and David. Page 7 Contents Foreword by J. C. Wenger 9 Author's Preface 11 1. Crossing Over Biblical Origins 19 2. The New Testament Pattern The Meaning of Baptism 41 3. The Discipline and Instruction of the Lord Children of the Church 66 4.

Indeed, a person prophetically critical of the old order would be expected to be one of the foremost in turning from the old age and its order to the new age and its order. The question, then, is not why Jesus sought baptism. The question is rather why anyone would think he should have avoided it. The essential conditions for receiving baptism were identification with God's people and the faith-expectation of God's imminent deliverance. Thus Jesus was foremost among those accepting the message of John, given his identification with Israel and his concern for the destiny of his people.

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