John the Baptist

September 6
Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus is baptized

While John was preaching, and baptizing people in the Jordan River, Jesus came from His hometown of Nazareth to be baptized as well. But John said, “You should baptize me, yet You are wanting me to baptize You?”

Jesus replied, “Do what I have asked, for I must do everything that is right.” Then John baptized Jesus. As Jesus came up out of the water, heaven was opened, and the Spirit of God came down on Jesus like a dove. And a voice said from heaven, “This is my Son whom I love and with whom I am very pleased.”

Why did Jesus ask to be baptized?

By being baptized, people show that they have asked God to forgive their sins and have decided to live a life that is pleasing to God. John baptized the people by dipping them under the water (in this case, in the Jordan River).

It is easy to see why John thought it wasn’t right for him, an ordinary man, to baptize Jesus, who is sinless. Because Jesus had never sinned, He didn’t need to repent for His sin and be baptized.

Yet, this was the start of Jesus’ ministry and He wanted to obey the Law of God in every way—even if it meant doing what was expected of sinners.

Three years later, on the cross, Jesus took our sin on Himself. Although He was perfect, He died in our place as if He had done wrong.

From then on, the Law (the written rules of God) that condemned us as sinners was fulfilled (kept) by Jesus; and because His Spirit now lives in us, it is as if we have kept every part of the Law as well (Romans 8:1-4).

Jesus kept the Law for our part; that is why God sees us as perfect (Hebrews 10:12, 14).

Verse for today

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17