Thursday, Nov. 10
Why was Jesus baptized? The Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about this—just Mt. 3:13-15. John was reluctant to baptize Jesus, correctly saying that he, John, was the one that needed to be baptized by Jesus. Jesus replied “Let it be so now. it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” That’s not much to go on, but since this is the point at which Jesus is identified as the Messiah, His baptism must be connected to that. Commentaries didn’t help me much. The NIV note on this verse at least gives me some things to think about. 1) Jesus was set aside or commissioned to represent the Father as He began His ministry. This was visibly recognized by the Holy Spirit descending on Him and by the Father’s voice from heaven. 2) John the Baptist, already acknowledged as the forerunner of the Messiah, publicly declared that Jesus is the Messiah. 3) Water baptism identifies Him as man, although He is also God and therefore sinless, so there is no need for repentance or forgiveness for sin. 4) His baptism was an example for His followers. I’m not totally satisfied with these, so am not dogmatic on them. The first two are not directly connected with water baptism. The last two are highly speculative. I admit that I don’t have a good answer as to why Jesus needed to be baptized. I’m open for suggestions.