- Religion and Philosophy
Why was Jesus Baptized in Water and in Spirit?
Why did Jesus Need to be Baptized?
How many believers have pondered the question of why was Jesus baptized with water and the Holy Spirit? This is a question I had wondered about for many years and until recently could not find an answer to this question. Here, I am talking about Jesus who had a sinless life. So, why was it necessary for a man who is the Son of God, who was perfect in all manner, had to be baptized? Clearly Jesus had nothing to repent for. His baptism would seem to most of us sinners to have no valid purpose. And yet, He was baptized in water and immediately after baptized with the Holy Spirit? This information about Jesus baptism in water and Spirit is mentioned in all four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. However, I want to mention only a few verses in the Book of Matthew which I believe provide a little bit more information than what you will read in the other three books.
In Matthew 2: 13-17 (NKJV) it states: 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordon to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying," I need to be baptized by You, and you come to me? 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, " Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all rigihteousness." 16 The he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immeddiately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, " This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
There are two points here that for a long time I did not understand, but now I do. The first point that I did not understand was why did Jesus (who had no sin and never repented and never had or needed to receive God's grace) insisted that He be baptized. And second is, why did the voice of God state, " This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased? What made God pleased about Jesus baptism when the fact remains He never repented because He never sinned?
Where I found the answers to these two point will be explained shortly , but first we must look at what followed after the baptism of Jesus. After His baptism Jesus went in to the wildeness for 40 days and was tempted by Satan. As we all know Jesus over came any effort by Satan to tempt Jesus into sinning. Shortly afterwords Jesus began His ministry.
What is most interesting about the beginning of Jesus ministry is He started with the gospel of the Kingdom of God first. We find in Matthew 4:17 (NKJV) the following 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, " Repent for the Kingom of God is at hand."
So, what we find here is not long after the baptism of Jesus, He begins preaching " Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at had. What I find most enteresting is the fact the Kingdom message remained the centeral teachings of Jesus throughout the entire three and a half years of His ministry.
At this point we must ask ourselves is there a direct correlation between baptism of water and Spirit with God's Kingdom? Or is baptism JUST a demonstration of our repentence towards God. And a show of our fath in the Father in heaven and our Lord Jesus Christ. What if I told you that without baptism we CAN NOT enter the Kingdom of heaven. And this is also why Jesus Christ Himself was baptized in water and with the Holy Spirit. The concept of baptism is so important that even a sinless man like Jesus had to be baptized. I now direct your attention to a few verses in the Bible that prove my point. It takes place at a point when Jesus is talking to one of the Jewish leader's named Nicodemus where Jesus states in John 3:3-5(NKJV) 3 Jesus answered and said to him, " Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he CANNOT see the Kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, " How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother womb and be born? 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one in born of WATER and of SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER the Kingdom of God."
This is the key that explains why even Jesus, who was without sin, had to be baptized.
Now let's back up two chapters and read in John 1:33 (NKJV) which states:33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, " Upon whom you see the SPIRIT descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit." And this explains why Jesus insisted that John baptize Him with water. And the Spirit descended on Jesus. Also it explains why the voice of God said, "This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased."
I believe immediately following the baptism in water and Spirit, Jesus entered the heavenly Kingdom of God. This would explain why Jesus said in Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV) which states: Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, " The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, "See here! or See there! For the Kingdom of God is within you."
It is clear the Kingdom of God was in Jesus at the time He spoke those words. Because He was the only person up to that point who had been baptized in water and Spirit. I believe this is why the voice of God said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
For three and a half years the core of Jesus miniistry was focused on the Kingdom of God (heaven). But on His death and resurrection His last few words to His disciples was focus on baptism. Jesus states the following in Matthew 28:19 (NKJV) which states: 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
No doubt Jesus was the first to be baptized in water and Spirit, who had entered the Kingdom and is now seated at the right hand of His Father.