Brother Mike’s Message
The Baptism of Jesus
Jesus came to John to be baptized at about the age of thirty (see Luke 3:23). Unlike the birth of Jesus, all four gospels tell of the baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23; John 1:31-34). This is highly significant.
John was baptizing in the Jordan River when Jesus approached him for baptism (Matt. 3:13-17). John declares that he “did not know” Jesus prior to his baptism (John 1:33). However, it seems certain that John knew Jesus as a godly and righteous man because he declared, “I need to be baptized by you” (Matt. 3:14). Therefore, John’s meaning is probably that he “did not know him” (as the promised Messiah). Furthermore, John was baptizing for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4), and could not imagine that Jesus had any sin (Matt. 3:14b). Even so, Jesus demanded, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15 NASB). Jesus understood that baptism was a necessary act to “fulfil all righteousness.”
There is no reference to baptism in the Old Testament. However, there is no indication that any of those coming out to be baptized by John questioned baptism (Matt. 3:7). Furthermore, we know John’s baptism was from God (Matt. 21:25), and was in God’s plan (Luke 7:29-30). Therefore, for Jesus to be obedient to the Father he must be baptized even though he had no sins. When Jesus’ baptism was complete and he was praying (Luke 3:21), a voice came blaring out of the heavens saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). It is important to note that Jesus recognized that baptism was a significant part of his obedience to the Father. It is also significant to note that God did not announce his joy and approval of Jesus until he came up out of the water.
When Jesus came up out of the water “the Spirit of God descended on him like a dove” (Matt. 3:16; cf. John 1:32), “in bodily form, like a dove” (Luke 3:22b). The Spirit probably did not take on the physical form of a literal dove, but rather, the Spirit took on some visible form that John saw sailing down out of heaven “like” a dove (cf. Gen. 1:2, Acts 2:3). The Spirit remained on Jesus (John 1:33), and led him “into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1).
Consider a Gospel Life and Jesus’ baptism. Is it not just as important for us to be baptized in order to “fulfil all righteousness?”