Matthew 3:13-17; The Baptism

Jesus comes to John to be baptized. This historical fact was an embarrassment to many early Christians. After all, John was inferior to Jesus. Why would Jesus want this?

  • Jesus is humble. He wants to identify with his people. He knows of no sin in his life needing to be confessed, but the people don’t know that.
  • This episode is the segue from the ministry of John to the ministry of Jesus. “He must increase, I must decrease.”
  • Jesus fulfills all righteousness. This is a Matthean theme and both John and Jesus preached righteousness. Righteousness is about a right relationship with God, but also about how the righteous person lives. Jesus puts his money where his mouth will be.
  • God declaimed his approval of Jesus, at least to Jesus himself. This is really his first enthronement ceremony on the throne of his kingdom. Heaven opened for him and he overheard the heavenly conversation.
  • In a way—stay with me—his baptism was the beginning of his efficacious work to save his people from their sins. He was baptized for all of us.
  • This was anointing. “Messiah” and “Christ” mean he is anointed.

That should not be embarrassing to any Christian. It should help us to be more humble.

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