Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3: 13-16 NIV
Jesus’ ministry began with his baptism by John. John recognized him as the one from God who would take away the sins of the world, nevertheless, Jesus submitted to John’s baptism to fulfill all righteousness. Righteousness means being morally right or virtuous—Biblically speaking it means being right before God, without sin.
I find myself agreeing with John. Shouldn’t Jesus be the one doing the baptizing?
Then I consider the kind of baptism John administered. His was a call for repentance—preparing the way for the Lord (Luke 3:4 from Isaiah). John called out, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near…” (Matthew 3:2 NIV)
Jesus brought the good news that the kingdom of heaven had come (Luke 17:21). He ushered it in! John set the stage and the Son of God stepped forward.
Then the most glorious thing happened—God declared the identity of the one being baptized!
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Jesus was born in the world as a babe, lived a righteous life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead—all so we could hear a voice from heaven say to us,
“This is my child, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”