January 12, 2020, Sunday Gospel Reflection Matthew 3:13-17 – The Baptism of Jesus
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus, who is the character of the New Life, presents Himself to the baptism that is a symbol of the new life. Christ, who has the power to forgive sins, appears to seek through baptism forgiveness of sins. But the truth is, Jesus made known to the people the real value of the ceremony when He presented himself to be baptized. Jesus, who is a man indeed, revealed what man might become through baptism, and that is covered with the Holy Spirit and moved by the fire of zeal and purity.
Jesus wanted to be baptized by John without the personal sense of sinfulness or as the carrier of the guilt of others. It’s not also because through His connection of obligation with the unclean people that He was considered unclean as well to the Levitical law. Nor, he wished to be baptized because he wanted to detach himself deeply from the sins of Israel.
The baptism of Jesus was the symbolical establishment of His declaration of Himself. At the same time, an acknowledgment of John’s vocation. In Matthew 3:15, Jesus willfully agreed to God’s will and that He is sure that He must subject Himself to the baptism of His forerunner to accept the Messianic consecration.
This ceremony is the divine testimony that He was the Messiah and thus to be appropriate from that instant wholly and exclusively to this great mission. Christ’s baptism was to be for Him, the divine ordination to his Messiahship.
The Gospel revealed evidence that Jesus’ baptism was quite distinct from that of others. Jesus, a sinless being, had no confession of sin. His baptism became the descriptive character of the rite that could only have that apparent meaning; The moment He was redirected form all His previous associations of life that belonged to the world, now became, completely the Holy One of God, whom the Father sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was already this God-consecrated One from the beginning. Yet, with His baptism, He was now aware of the implementation of his unique destiny. The rite was the concrete admission to His Messianic path of life.