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.
Why did Jesus desire to be baptized? He didn’t have to repent; He was sinless. There was no need for an inward change or an outward symbol. So why was Jesus baptized before launching His public ministry? Let’s consider three reasons.
Jesus publicly consecrated Himself to God’s plan.
Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.” In the act of baptism He publicly dedicated Himself to the Father and the Father’s plan for Him on Earth. Jesus’ baptism was His first step towards the cross.
Jesus completely identified Himself with humanity’s sin and failure.
Baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. John’s baptism was to show that the person wanted to repent of their sins, live in obedience and get ready for the Messiah. Jesus was baptized to identify Himself with us.
Jesus left us an example to follow.
Jesus demonstrated the importance of baptism by participation so we would follow His example.
Baptism does not make you a Christian, make you more of a Christian, or complete your faith. It is an outward sign that you desire to know Jesus intimately, follow Him passionately, and obey Him wholeheartedly. It is a powerful sign of us identifying with Jesus. Going into the water identifies us with His death, going under the water is a symbol of His burial, and coming up out of the water is a beautiful picture of His resurrection. Have you taken the step of believer’s baptism?
Father, thank You for the opportunity to make a public profession of faith through the act of baptism. Move in the hearts of those who have not taken this step of obedience. Help them make that public statement that they are all in for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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