The Baptism of Jesus
Texts: Matthew 3:13-17; parallels Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-34
by Robert J. Young

Historically, the baptism of Jesus has been difficult to understand. It has therefore been the subject of much study, thinking, research. One basic problem is that John's baptism was a baptism of repentance and Jesus did not need to repent. Jesus did not need forgiveness, for he was the very son of God. John's baptism was for sinners, so in this sense it seems not applicable to Jesus.
But something is important here--it is in all four Gospels. Few events are in this category: baptism, feeding of 5000, passion. As we consider the subject of baptism in the Bible--its purpose, meaning, significance--it appears this event in the life of Christ is different, unique in purpose. Christ himself mentions this purpose in Matt. 3:15, to fulfill all righteousness. What does that mean?
We begin our study today from the standpoint of the purposes of baptism, and the question concerning what may be the purposes of Jesus' baptism. Our outline is relative simple: what it is not, what it is, what is its significance.

I. What it is not.

II. What it is. What were the purposes of this baptism?

Conclusion--What is its significance?
Notice these facts about Jesus' baptism:

These have application in the life of the Christian.

Baptism was Christ's confirmation, it is also ours. You can become a son or daughter of God, enter Christ, enjoy salvation. No wonder the last words of Jesus were Mark 16:15-16.

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Last updated November 12, 2002.