Matthew 3.13-15 cont.
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
14 But he prevented Him, saying: “I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”
15 Then Jesus replied and said to him: “You must allow it for now, for it is proper to fulfil all righteousness”. Then he agreed with Him.
Continued from yesterday.
Some suggest that it was through family pressure that Jesus was baptized. One of the books that is not included in our New Testament, the gospel according to the Hebrews, states that His family wanted to go and be baptized by John for the remission of their sins.
It is suggested that Jesus yielded to this family pressure, although He is said to have rejected His need to be baptized.
However, there is no record of this in the New Testament, and it seems unlikely that Jesus would be pressurised in this way.
It is also suggested that Jesus was baptized in order to identify Himself with those He came to save. This did not mean that He was a sinner, but that He understood the feelings and needs of sinners. By being baptized He was stating that He was not aloof from them.
By being baptized He was stating that He was truly Emmanuel, God with us.
The writer to the Hebrews put it this way:
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for He faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin – Hebrews 4.15 (NLT).
It is also suggested that by being baptized Jesus was marking the commencement of His ministry. No longer was He to be a carpenter; no longer was He to be a private person, away from the public eye. His baptism was the door to fulfilling the ways of His Father. This is righteousness.
We may not know exactly what Jesus meant, and perhaps all the suggestions have something of the truth as to what Jesus meant.
The fact remains that Jesus was baptized, but not for repentance of sin, since He had no sin. He was baptized in obedience to the Father’s will.
John seems to have understood what Jesus meant.
He felt that he needed to be baptized by Jesus, because He knew that Jesus came from God, being perfect in every way. Nonetheless, He submitted to Jesus and baptized Him.