The Baptism of Jesus Christ

In our continuing study of Jesus Christ, we are examining His baptism. His act of obedience in allowing Himself to be baptized was a great public example. We need to understand, however, that there is a deeper meaning to it.In Jewish culture, there was no use for baptism. Gentiles, however, were taught of the importance in faith of circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice. The scribes and Pharisees, being Jewish, did not regard baptism as part of their worship culture. John the Baptist, who was actively baptizing those who chose to follow God, sometimes chided the Jewish leaders for not recognizing the need for personal repentance.John’s purpose of his ministry:
1. Announcing that the kingdom of heaven was near.
2. Proclaiming the need for repentance of the individual–not for the group. In fact, this was far beyond the norm of the temple sacrifice of the Jewish culture. To be baptized was to make a personal declaration of sin and the desire to follow God
3. John reveals the King of this kingdom–Jesus Christ.

Luke 3:3-6

3 He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:

    A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:

    “Prepare the way for the Lord;

    make His paths straight!

    5 Every valley will be filled,

    and every mountain and hill will be made low;

    the crooked will become straight,

    the rough ways smooth,

    6 and everyone will see the salvation of God.”

John 1:29-37

 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the One I told you about: ‘After me comes a man who has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ 31 I didn’t know Him, but I came baptizing with water so He might be revealed to Israel.”

    32 And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. 33 I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. ‘ 34 I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!”

    35 Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!”

    37 The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus.

John is preparing the hearts of the people, in his ministry, for regeneration of the hearts of men for the appearance of Jesus Christ. John was the one who was to reveal Christ as King and also noted this as the close of one ministry and the beginning of another (John 3:30).

John 7:18-23

18 The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19 Didn’t Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law! Why do you want to kill Me?”

    20 “You have a demon!” the crowd responded. “Who wants to kill You?”

    21 “I did one work, and you are all amazed,” Jesus answered. 22“Consider this: Moses has given you circumcision —not that it comes from Moses but from the fathers —and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses won’t be broken, are you angry at Me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath?

Why did Jesus asked to be baptized? He was not baptized because of a need for repentance as it was for others, for He was without sin.

1 Peter 2:22

22 He did not commit sin,

    and no deceit was found in His mouth.

Hebrews 4:15

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.

He was baptized to set the example for all of us and to confirm that His kingdom is present. It is a commitment to the work that He would do in His ministry.

John the Baptist provides a picture of Jesus through the words of Isaiah. It is a picture of reverence and understanding of who Jesus Christ really is. If we truly see this, we would have the mindset of always seeking Him in prayer and asking how we can best be of service for Him.

Isaiah 11:1-5

 1 Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, 
    and a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

    2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him —
    a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    a Spirit of counsel and strength,
    a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

    3 His delight will be in the fear of the LORD.
    He will not judge
    by what He sees with His eyes, 
    He will not execute justice
    by what He hears with His ears,

    4 but He will judge the poor righteously 
    and execute justice for the oppressed of the land.
    He will strike the land
    with discipline from His mouth, 
    and He will kill the wicked 
    with a command from His lips.

    5 Righteousness and faithfulness
    will be a belt around His waist.

Isaiah 33:17, 42:1

17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty; 
    you will see a vast land.

 1 “This is My Servant; I strengthen Him,
    [this is] My Chosen One; I delight in Him. 
    I have put My Spirit on Him; 
    He will bring justice to the nations.

Matthew 3:13-17

 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to stop Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and yet You come to me?”

    15 Jesus answered him, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him [to be baptized].

    16 After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him. 17And there came a voice from heaven:

    This is My beloved Son.

    I take delight in Him!

John 1:29, 32

 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

32 And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him.

Before His baptism, Jesus was known merely as the carpenter’s son. Afterward, He was known as the Son of Man. It is important to note that Jesus’ public commitment of baptism and humbling Himself before others is to show a dependence to His heavenly Father and to the Holy Spirit for everything that would be taking place. Jesus is our example in how we are to emulate Him in life and in ministry to others.

John 13:12-15

 12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.

1 Corinthians 11:1

1 Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ.

1 Peter 2:21

21 For you were called to this,

    because Christ also suffered for you,

    leaving you an example,

    so that you should follow in His steps.

Jesus Christ shows the example, through baptism, to committing yourself to the task of ministry, including the act of dying to Himself. He does not deny that He is God, but He readily acknowledges that He is serving the Father and depends upon the Holy Spirit. He shows us that if we do the same, we will be successful in everything as we remain in His will.

John 4:34, 6:38

34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them.

38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

Jesus prayed as He was coming out of the water after His baptism.

Luke 3:21-22

 21 When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As He was praying, heaven opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven:

    You are My beloved Son.

    I take delight in You!

Baptism is a symbol of death, burial and resurrection. Our declaration of baptism is a statement represents dying to self (for us, dying to sin) and living for Christ. Note that Jesus willingly went shortly thereafter to the wilderness to experience the temptation that we face on a regulate basis. He is a God that relates to each of us.

The life that Jesus lives is a life in service for God; in the same way, the life that we live is a life in service to Jesus.

Romans 6:3-14

3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished,so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, no longer dies. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

    12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.

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About melvingaines

I am a communications professional, author and inspirational speaker with experience as a business owner and corporate management for over 25 years. I am a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and served as President of the National Association of Credit Management, Greater Akron (OH). I have also been a member of the American Collectors Association International, Inc. and the Commercial Law League of America. I am presently a Sunday school instructor at Akron Alliance Fellowship Church in Akron and moderate over numerous bible studies and church cell group sessions. My degree is in Business and Organizational Communication from The University of Akron, and I am working on my M.A. in Christian Studies with Crown College (MN). My hometown is Cleveland (the center of the universe) and I am married to my lovely childhood sweetheart, Lynn. View all posts by melvingaines

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