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Jesus’ Baptism

From my daily Bible Reading: 

IFThen Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.” — Matthew 3:13-15 NRSV.

“John is immediately aware of Jesus’ identity and insists on his own inferiority (v. 14). He acknowledges the honor of Jesus and thereby maintains his own honor. Although this major event (i.e., Jesus’ baptism) does not “fulfill” Scripture, it is a fulfillment of “righteousness,” a term that can also be translated as “justice,” a major theme in Matthew (5:6, 10, 20; 6:1, 33). This is no routine baptism (v. 16); revelatory signs accompany it, including open heavens and the Spirit’s descent (implying God’s own approval of Jesus). It is not clear here that anyone other than Jesus witnesses the Spirit’s descent, but the announcement of the heavenly voice is in the third person, suggesting a wider audience (v. 17). Note that God acknowledges Jesus as “my Son” in preparation for the testing of Jesus as Son of God (4:1–11).”

“Jesus, who was sinless and had no need of repentance, nevertheless submitted himself to be baptized by John. Jesus did this in order to identify the work set before him and to embody what he would later command of those who desire to take up his cross and follow him. Wesley wrote that God’s gift of baptism is necessary for all who hear the good news and want to unite with Christ. Baptism is the door to the church and the Christian life for infants and older persons alike. In baptism, sins are rejected, belief in God is expressed, and promises are made to persevere in the Christian faith. The revelation of the triune God at the Jordan River assures us that God is present at every Christian baptism. Baptism “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” is a reminder that God is with us from the beginning and throughout our Christian journey.”

— Comments from The Wesley Study Bible. 

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1 Response

  1. Ann Ahnemann September 23, 2015 / 8:27 am

    Thank you Craig. Blessings, Ann

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