This Is My Son

Jesus shows up for John’s baptism too. He doesn’t dismiss it. He wants it.

It’s John who is reluctant. I like his reason. Humility is the right response to perfection! John only consents when Jesus tells him it is the proper and right thing to do.

As Jesus submits to John’s baptism something extraordinary happens. Heaven opens, the Holy Spirit comes upon Him and God announces His approval.

This is my Son, whom I love, in whom I am well pleased.

But why did Jesus join the crowds in being baptized?

Unlike all the others, Jesus had no sin. He didn’t need the baptism of repentance, did He? Why then submit to water baptism?

It’s true. Jesus is beginning His public ministry. But He could have received the empowerment of the Spirit and God’s endorsement for this from anywhere. Why not at the temple in Jerusalem or on a mountain top somewhere?

Do you think Jesus wanted to show public support for John’s message of the nearby kingdom by being baptized by him? Or does Jesus want to enter into the life of the common people who were seeking God by doing what they had done?

I think there may be at least one other possibility.

I think Jesus knew He was becoming a living example for everyone who would later follow Him. I can almost hear the future objections if Jesus refused baptism: I don’t need to be baptized. I follow Jesus and He never was. What’s good enough for Him is good enough for me!

By His baptism, Jesus models what He knew would not be optional for us. Today, when the blood of Jesus makes us clean from sin, we too receive the Holy Spirit and become children of God in whom He is well pleased.


  1. Jesus said to John “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus, who was perfect, without sin, said to fulfill all righteousness he needed to be baptized. So how could one of us sinners ever expect to be considered to “be made righteous” without baptism?

    Denny, I like your last paragraph. I have always heard that Jesus was doing this to set an example for us (didn’t he in everything he did?) However, I never connected the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus at His baptism with our receiving the Holy Spirit when we are baptized! (Duh!) Yet now that I see that it is an obvious connection / example. Thanks for pointing out the obvious!

  2. Acts 2:38 sounds similar to this.