Why was Jesus baptized?
His cousin John had been powerfully preaching in the desert that the people needed to turn from their sins and turn to God (read more about John’s message). To show the change in their lives, John baptized them in the river. When Jesus showed up that day in the crowds, He had no sins to turn from. Jesus didn’t need to “turn to God” – He was God!
Was Jesus showing that He was yielding His human will to His Father as He began His public ministry? Did He want to be an example for us of what it should look like for someone to display a life pleasing to God? Did He do it simply to obey His Father? Did He desire to demonstrate His love and commitment to death on the cross and promise of ultimate victory over sin (Romans 6:4)?
What Luke emphasizes in His Gospel is that on a day the crowds were coming to be baptized by John, Jesus also came and was baptized. As Jesus prayed, heaven opened up. The Holy Spirit visibly descended on Him, and God audibly spoke His pleasure.
The disciple Matthew records that when John the Baptist asked why Jesus was coming to him for baptism, when it should have been the other way around, Jesus responded, “It must be done, because we must do everything that is right.”
Jesus’ obedience and prayer moved Heaven. The crowds saw the very Spirit of God and actually heard God’s voice confirm the man who stood wet before them was their long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God.
Jesus’ baptism opened hearts to personally experience God.