#7 What the Gospels Teach - The Baptism of Jesus

Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he *permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:13-17 NASB)

I imagine that volumes have been written on this text, and if there were ever a text where I would love to be able to provide some profound insight it may very well be this one, but I must be honest it is well beyond me to do that.

I will say this, can you imagine what John the Baptist must have thought? John the Baptist was 30 years old, he comes on the scene and breaks the 400 year silence of prophetic word preaching about the One who was coming. He was the first authoritative prophet since Malachi, and he had one task, to announce the coming king. His life was utterly devoted to this task alone, and he goes on and on about the excellence of the coming Christ, the majesty of Him, His authority, and His power. John the Baptist speaks of how all of eternity is Christ’s hands, and that ultimately Christ is judge of the earth. John the Baptist diverts all attention from himself, and places all attention squarely on the Christ. And then... Christ shows up. If you look at verse 13 you see that “John tried to prevent Him...” It is hard for me to imagine what this must have been like. Clearly being baptized requires some submission to the one doing the physical act of baptizing, and here is John the Baptist who has been preaching in the wilderness to crowds about the authority of Christ, and his own unworthiness in comparison to Christ... and yet the first thing Christ does is places Himself in the hands of John to be Baptized. Of course John would resist, and say “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” Yet look at the humility of Christ from the very beginning, getting glory for Himself, by not glorifying Himself. Christ is a paradox from the moment His public ministry starts. Why does he submit to baptism? “To fulfill all righteousness...”

Now that is the point on which I cannot commentate at all. You see the Spirit, The Father, and Christ all in the same scene, and I believe this is the only place in scripture where the entire Trinity is explicitly represented together. The Baptism of Christ is such an amazing moment, it is the beginning of something incredible, and I do not want to spoil it with lame comments from a less than mediocre armchair theologian.

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