The Life of John the Baptist: John Baptizes Jesus

The Life of John the Baptist

JOHN BAPTIZES JESUS // Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22

I. Why did Jesus submit to baptism?

    A. John tried to prevent Him
    B. It was not “for the remission of sins” (Luke 3:3; cf. Hebrews 4:15)
    C. “To fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15)

      1. “He learned obedience” (Hebrews 5:8)
      2. He came to do the will of God (Hebrews 10:7)
      3. “There are two aspects of baptism; first, it was an act in connection with the remission of sin, and an act of obedience to a positive command of God. Jesus had no sin to be forgiven, but he must obey the command of God.” (Boles, Matthew)
      4. “Could He have gone on in His sinlessness as heretofore and have remained sinless to the end if at this point He did not do everything God had commanded? No, perfect holiness involves doing all God says to do, without rationalizing. Had Jesus refused or neglected to obey this precept of God, He would have failed, coming short of perfect righteousness.” (Fowler, Matthew)
      5. “Our Lord came to set us a perfect example, hence it was needful for him, having taken the form of a man and a servant, to set us an example of obedience. He was baptized, not unto repentance, for he had no sins, but to fulfill all righteousness, and thus to show us how every disciple ought to do.” (Johnson and DeWelt, Mark)
      6. “How worthy of emulation is that sublime attitude of Jesus; and how unlike that attitude is that of men who set aside even the baptism that is greater than John’s, making it a non-essential, an elective privilege, rather than receiving it for what it is, namely, a divinely-imposed condition of eternal salvation, which if spurned cannot fail to bring everlasting remorse.” (Coffman, Matthew)

    D. Why are we supposed to be baptized today?

      1. “For the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38)
      2. “Wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16)
      3. “Into His death” (Romans 6:3-6)
      4. “Put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27)

II. The Spirit “descending like a dove”

    A. John 1:32-34
    B. “As in all Scriptural symbolism, the dove was a creature most admirably suited to serve in that situation as a vehicle for suggesting the Holy Spirit. Note: (1) The dove was a ‘clean’ creature under the ceremonial laws of the Jews; (2) it was used in their religious sacrifices, two, in fact, being offered upon the presentation of our Lord in the temple (Luke 2:24); (3) it is a monogamous creature! (4) it is a symbol of peace; (5) it is a marvel of gentleness, love, and affection; (6) it is a messenger (the homing pigeon is a dove); and (7) the dove has no gall, suggesting that there is no bitterness in the service of God.” (Coffman, Matthew)
    C. Jesus called doves “harmless” (Matthew 10:16)
    D. “The coming of the Spirit performed these all-important functions:

      1. “The divine authentication of His identity: HE, and no other, is God’s Son and Messiah;
      2. “His public anointing as God’s Messiah (Ac. 10:38);
      3. “The reinforcement of the human nature of Jesus for the great work and suffering which He must shortly commence.” (Fowler, Matthew)

III. The Father’s voice from heaven

    A. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
    B. Two other instances of the Father speaking from above in the New Testament

      1. At the mount of transfiguration: Matthew 17:5, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
      2. At the feast: John 12:28-29, “‘Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered.”

    C. Jesus’ status as the Son of God is different from other sons (and daughters) of God

      1. “Only begotten” (John 3:16-18; 1 John 4:9)
      2. Jesus is a unique, one-of-a-kind type of Son
      3. We are children through adoption (Galatians 4:4-7)

IV. The trinity

    A. “Here at the baptism of Jesus, we have one of the clearest and most complete revelations of the three Persons who make up the Deity: the Son of God standing incarnate upon earth, the Spirit descending out of heaven, and the Father speaking from heaven. Again, our obedience to the divine will brings together those mighty names in connection with our baptism.” (Fowler, Matthew)
    B. Matthew 28:19-20
    C. 2 Corinthians 13:14

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