Why was Jesus baptized?

Luke 3:22b

My Jesus Journey – Luke 3:21-22, The baptism of Jesus

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.

Proof

Luke3_8

My Jesus Journey – Luke 3:1-20, John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus

A person can’t be a Christian in name only. Following God doesn’t work that way.

Obeying the message of God that came to him, John (son of Zechariah — read about how an angel foretold his birth) begins passionately preaching and baptizing. To prepare the world for the Word of God, he urges those listening to turn from their sins and turn to God.

If we’ve really turned to God, our lives will be the proof.

John gives these characteristics of a person who has a changed heart and restored relationship with God:

  • Generous: we will want to share freely with those who are in need
  • Honest: we will tell the truth and live transparently
  • Full of Integrity: we will do what is right
  • Content: we will find joy where God has placed us

Likely, each of us struggle with one of these areas. We think of ourselves first, instead of Christ. We make little compromises in our beliefs or actions, without understanding or maybe regardless of the consequences. We want more.

God wants all of us, not just parts of us. Just as the entire person was dipped under the water as John baptized, Jesus wants us to give our entire sin-filled lives to Him so He can regenerate us. He desires to bring us to life in Him.

He will be the proof.