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The Baptism of Christ

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Centuries ago, when missionaries went amongst the barbaric tribes of western Europe and converted whole nations, baptisms of thousands of people at one time was a common occurrence. One thing the missionaries found was that many of these barbarians insisted on keeping their right … More

Baptism

We find Jesus going south from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized (v.13). When  John learns that Jesus wants to be baptized he doesn’t want to do it because he feels unworthy (v. 14). Jesus says it is necessary to fulfil what God wants us to do (v. 15).

Why do you think Jesus wanted to be baptized?

  1. First, it would give approval to John’s ministry.
  2. Secondly, He identified Himself with publicans and sinners, the very people He came to save.
  3. But most important of all His water baptism pictured His future baptism on the cross (Matthew 20:22). It is for certain that Jesus was not baptized because He was a repentant sinner because He had never sinned (II Corinthians 5:21).

On three special occasions the Father spoke from heaven. Here at Christ’s baptism, at the transfiguration, (Matthew 17:3) and as Christ went to the cross (John 12:27-30). As Jesus went up out of the water (which indicates immersion) the spirit of God came down on him in the form of a dove and says; “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (vv. 16-17). There can be no doubt that all three persons of the trinity were present and actively involved in this event. The Father speaks, the Spirit descends and the Son is baptized. This is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy where it says that the Spirit would rest on the Messiah (Isaiah 11:2)

Application

This is a good time to go over the importance of baptism with my family and look up the various verses on baptism and read them together. Maybe someone in your family should be baptized.

Matthew 3:13-17 (English Standard Version)

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, 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 thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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