WHY DID JESUS SUBMIT TO JOHN’S BAPTISM?
Now we will discuss the most important issue about the significance of Jesus’ baptism: why did He need to be baptised? Is it right to start a trend that will be blindly followed by the entirety of the Christian world, and in doing so, to make them once again addicted to the similar rituals of the old covenant, in which the total focus was on the temple and the linked priesthood, which finds a comparison in today’s priests and pastors? Let us make an effort to investigate the Scriptures.
Matthew 21:23-27 — Now after Jesus entered the temple courts, the chief priests and elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Where did John’s baptism come from? From heaven or from people?” They discussed this among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From people,’ we fear the crowd, for they all consider John to be a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.” Then he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.
Luke 20:1-8 — Now one day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the gospel, the chief priests and the experts in the law with the elders came up and said to him, “Tell us: By what authority are you doing these things? Or who is it who gave you this authority?” He answered them, “I will also ask you a question, and you tell me: John’s baptism – was it from heaven or from people?” So they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From people,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they replied that they did not know where it came from. Then Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things.”
The verses above provide light on one of the most important motivations for the sacrament of baptism that Jesus underwent. During this conversation between Jesus, the chief priests, and the elders of the community, Jesus is challenged about the authority he has to teach and heal.
Jesus responded by asking a rebuttal question concerning the baptism that John administered, to which He Himself also had to respond. He questioned them about where they thought the baptism of John originated: in heaven or on earth. They were taken aback and perplexed by this unexpected inquiry because if they responded that it came from heaven, then they would be reprimanded for not believing in Him. However, the question came as a complete surprise to them.
If they responded that it originated from individuals, then they would be pitted against the community since most people regarded John as a great prophet. They were put in a state of complete perplexity and provided the response, “we do not know.” Jesus answered their question by putting it to rest.
A conflict of this kind illuminates several different aspects of Christ’s authority for our consideration.
Acts 10:37-38 — you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, that God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him.
These verses reveal that following John’s baptism, Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power, at which point He went about doing good and healing all those who were afflicted by the devil. This took place after John’s baptism.
EVIDENCE OF THE ANOINTING
During Jesus’ baptism by John, we find evidence of the anointing in two different ways:
- first, in the form of a dove descending and landing on Him;
- second, in the voice of the Father, which unmistakably declared that Jesus was the Son in whom the Father was well pleased;
- and finally, in the form of the Holy Spirit. There is a relationship between these two kinds of anointing that can’t be avoided at any cost.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him in John 1:29, he cried out,
John 1:29 — “Behold, the Lamb of God, who wipes away the sin of the world!”
The message of John the Baptist is that Jesus is the lamb who takes on the “sin of the world,” not the “sins of the world.” Sins are acts that are committed by people who have a sinful nature, and according to John, Jesus is the One who cleanses people of their sinful nature. This leads us to the section of the book of Leviticus about the burned offering, in which it states that every bull, sheep, or goat that is brought to the altar must first be bathed with water.
LAMB OF GOD
John was reiterating the fact that Jesus is the ideal burnt offering of God when he revealed Jesus as the lamb of God. As the perfect burnt offering of God, Jesus was required to be cleansed in accordance with the tradition of the old covenant before He could be slain. Leviticus discusses the burnt offering, and it says that if a sacrifice of birds was to be made, then either a turtledove or a pigeon must be used.
Through these, God reveals that the only bird that was found to be acceptable as a sacrifice before Him was the dove, and exactly, in the same way, the only man found acceptable before Him as a remedy for mankind’s sin was the Man chosen, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. God explains that the only man found acceptable before him as a remedy for mankind’s sin was the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Isaiah 66:2 — My hand made them; that is how they came to be,” says the LORD. I show special favor to the humble and contrite, who respect what I have to say.
This is the man, the ideal man described, who was able to reconcile the two kingdoms of heaven and earth and discover the perfect solution for the sinful nature of humanity as a result.
John 8:40 — But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham did not do this!
Acts 2:22 — “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man clearly attested to you by God with powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed among you through him, just as you yourselves know –
Acts 13:38 — Therefore let it be known to you, brothers, that through this one forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you…”
Acts 17:30 — Therefore, although God has overlooked such times of ignorance, he now commands all people everywhere to repent…
1 Timothy 2:5 — For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human,
FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY
At the time of the baptism that was fulfilling the prophecy,
Isaiah 42:1 — “Here is my servant whom I support, my chosen one in whom I take pleasure. I have placed my Spirit on him; he will make just decrees for the nations.
Psalms 2:7 — The king says, “I will announce the LORD’s decree. He said to me: ‘You are my son! This very day I have become your father!
The Father revealed this information to the disciples by speaking His own words,
Matthew 3:17 — And a voice from heaven said, “This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight.”
Mark 1:11 — And a voice came from heaven: “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.”
Luke 3:22 — and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.”
This is the explanation for why the Holy Spirit manifested itself as a dove, which was then followed by the voice of the Father speaking the words, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
VOICE OF THE FATHER
What was the significance of hearing the voice of the Father at this baptism?
It was at this baptism that God the Father officially designated Jesus to be the Christ, which is another name for God the Father’s “anointed” one.
The chief priests and the elders were unable to understand the power that this anointing bestowed upon Him from the Father. The significance of the ritual of washing the entrails and legs of the burned sacrifice might be inferred from this particular component of the sacrament of baptism that Jesus underwent.
Christ is the ideal burnt offering because he was sacrificed just once for all time. It is through Christ that man is reconciled to God, and Christ is the means by which man is reconciled to God. Because of the nature of the old covenant, it is impossible for us to be burned on the altar of the temple there. Instead, we must accept Christ as our burnt offering by identifying ourselves with him and allowing him to cleanse our inner selves.
In the same way that the animal was killed, skinned, then chopped into pieces, and the guts and legs were cleansed, so must we too go through such a procedure in order to be accepted as the suitable burned sacrifice by bearing his death.
Only then would it be true that “my life will come to an end in Christ,” and Christ will be able to begin living in the precise spot where I was living, confirming Paul’s words.
Galatians 2:20 — I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
OLD AND NEW
To reiterate, it is important to point out that the aforementioned anointing took place only after Jesus emerged from the water onto the banks of the Jordan River, and not while He was still in the waters of the Jordan River. This indicates a separation or division (or, in other words, a “judgement”) between the old and the new, between what is left behind and what he was entering into, between death and resurrection, and between the dead and the living.
By doing this, he was putting the old behind Him and moving into the realm of the New, all while drawing the attention of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, to the realm of the New. In contrast to what they had in mind when they thought of a kingdom, He was beginning the reign of the kingdom with Himself at its helm.
This kingdom was spiritual, and He was ushering in a new rule. This is the reason why Jesus started His ministry with the proclamation,
Mark 1:15 — He said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!”
Because He would bring the old to its completion in Himself, the fulfilment of time took place in Him. Additionally, through His resurrection, He would instal a new reign of the kingdom, which would take place in the spiritual realm, presenting Himself as the King. This would mark the completion of the time “time has come,” which means that it is now time to get rid of the old and start fresh with something new.
He is the pinnacle or fullness of time, the point at which the old is eliminated through fulfilment and the new is established, but the old must be brought to conclusion through His death and resurrection.Blessings,Godwin.