Baptism in water
Matthew 3:13,14 -
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
When John was baptizing people in water he would first bring them to repentance and then baptize them in the hope of the 'one who was to come' after him - that was Jesus Christ. Thus John's baptism of water simply symbolized rejecting the old life of sin and having hope of a new life in Jesus Christ.
In today's scripture we see John who was Jesus' cousin was very surprised when Jesus came to him to be baptised. This surprise was not just about being alarmed but about making sense. John thought firstly how can this man who is without sin repent and secondly why would He want to be baptized in Himself?
It was true that it seemed foolishness for Jesus being baptized in water except for the one reason which He stated. Jesus said 'Suffer now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness'. In NKJV it is written much simpler as "Permit now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." [Italic words removed]
Jesus said that it should be allowed so as to fulfil all righteousness. Jesus did not say for Him to fulfil all righteousness but for 'us' including John to fulfil all righteousness .The word righteousness in Greek 'dikaiosune' comes from the word 'dikaios' which means 'fulfilling the divine laws'. We need to understand Jesus did a physical dip in the river Jordan just for the reason to fulfil the scriptures. Had Jesus not taken the dip then He would not have declared Himself as the Christ and King. For it was after the dip the Spirit of God manifested above Him and fulfilled scriptures by declaring Him as the Christ.
Jesus as man fulfilled two promises from God that is of being the Messias and the Messiah. One was to deliver the Jews (people) from their sins and the second was to free the Jews (people) from oppression by establishing an everlasting Kingdom.
Jesus once again did the same of fulfilment of scriptures and the same 2 aspects of Himself when He entered Jerusalem sitting on a colt and its young one. It was this odd posture of Jesus being seated on a colt and its little one that made them remember the prophecy of Zachariah and thus made them shout 'Hosanna' which in Hebrew meant 'the deliverer come to save now'.
Like Jesus sitting on the colt and its little one did not make Jesus the deliverer similarly it wasn't the immersing of Jesus in water that caused the Spirit of God to descend on Him. Jesus was Christ (One with the Holy Spirit) right from the womb of Mary. It was just that the baptism of Jesus in water and the manifestation of the Spirit and Voice of God confirmed Him as the one in scriptures. Baptism in Jesus Christ is very necessary for every Believer but dipping oneself in water is an option. Jesus encouraged others like His disciples to baptize people in water but He Himself did not baptize anyone in water.
It is not that we should ignore baptism of water since it is an option, for baptism of water is a sign of our confirmation of belief in Jesus Christ as Messias and Messiah our Christ and our King. When we get ourselves immersed in water after repenting from our sinful life we are declaring or witnessing to the people our faith in Jesus as our Saviour and our King.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord Jesus, the world likes to see their deliverer come as a grand conqueror with a great number of people, but You came as a meek alone man to save all mankind. People expected You to take up arms and form an earthly army to defeat the rulers of this world, but You spread your empty pierced arms out on the crucifix with a body that was bruised beyond recognition but yet destroyed the plans of destruction of your people. People expected You to call out to the armies of Angels for help but did not know that this world which was made out of a word would also end by your one word (shout). Lord as your people witness their faith in You give them the courage to be immersed in water and declare You as their Christ and King...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
1 When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
John 3:5 - Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
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