The baptism of Jesus

Allan Martin

The baptism of Jesus

Matt 3:1-6

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea [Jordan river at northern end of Dead Sea], 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Jesus came from Galilee to John in the wilderness of Judaea, east of Jerusalem where John was baptizing in the Jordan river to be baptized of him.

Matt 3:13

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

Of Jesus’ own free will he came a long distance (a trip of about 60 miles) to be baptized – considered it very important to do the will of his Father in heaven

John 6:38

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

And John actually tried to forbid Jesus to come to him for baptism.

Matt 3:13-14

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

John said it should be the other way around, that he needed to be baptized by Jesus instead of Jesus being baptized by him (John knew Jesus hadn’t sinned, but John had). This shows that John understood perfectly the purpose of baptism. That it was for the remission of sins. And this is what he preached.

Mark 1:4-5

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

And the people that came to him understood it perfectly, that it was for the remission of sins. They weren’t baptized, confessing that their sins had been removed, but rather confessing that they had sins that needed to be removed.

Mark 1:5

5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

But Jesus still wanted to be baptized, not for the remission of sins, but to do his Father’s will and fulfil all righteousness.

Matt 3:15

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Jesus didn’t come for baptism as a small child – small children have no need for baptism (they are not sinners).

Matt 19:13-15

13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

But we as adults, to be saved need to be converted and become as little children.

Matt 18:1-4

18 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And there was really no rush for Jesus to be baptized as an adult (about 30 years old) – because had no sins that needed to be repented of and forgiven –did it to fulfill all righteousness as we have seen.

Matt 3:13-15

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

But it is imperative that we, the sinners that we are, be baptized (as soon as possible) – because we all have sinned.

Rom 3:23

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

And baptism is for the remission of sins.

Mark 1:4

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Acts 2:36-40

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

These people on Pentecost were pricked deeply in their heart, and feared for their souls’ salvation, and wanted to know what to do. And Peter plainly told them what to do, “Repent, and be baptized for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). There was no misunderstanding over the meaning of baptism. There was no debate. They gladly received the message and were baptized without delay, about 3000 souls in one day.

Acts 2:41

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Other passages are in harmony with Peter’s teaching on the necessity of baptism.

Acts 22:16 (Ananias to Saul)

16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

1 Peter 3:20-21 (Peter to saints)

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

But some will say that baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. If that is true then Book, Chapter and Verse is needed for that with no ambiguities. Jesus clearly spoke concerning where he got his doctrine. His heavenly Father told him what he should speak. We are to be “followers” of Christ (1 Cor 11:1).

John 7:14-18

14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

John 8:26-28

26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

John 12:48-50

48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

Jesus was baptized at the beginning of his teaching ministry – a beginning point from his life as a carpenter to his life as a teacher of God’s word – ending with his crucifixion for us on the cross.

And we are baptized into the Lord at the beginning of our life as Christians – to leave behind the former sinful life – and to walk in newness of life.

Gal 3:26-28

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Rom 6:3-4

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

2 Cor 5:17

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

A thorough job was done in baptizing Jesus – an immersion in water (no sprinkling or pouring).

Matt 3:16f

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:

This was the same procedure as with Phillip and the Etheopian Eunuch.

Acts 8:36-39

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

This is what the apostle Paul taught, that baptism is a burial.

Col 2:11-13

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

And Jesus received heaven’s approval for what he had done.

Matt 3:16-17

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And we will receive heaven’s approval if we repent, determine to turn from sin and live for Jesus, and are baptized into Jesus.

Luke 15:7

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

And being baptized into Christ we will go on our way rejoicing.

Acts 8:38-39

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

But remember that the battle is not over at baptism – has just started. After Jesus was baptized he was led out into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Matt 4:1

4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

And we will be tempted and tried throughout our lives – but through Jesus we will overcome – and inherit eternal life.

Rev 2:10 (Smyrna)

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.