Matthew 3:13-17 Baptism of Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17 Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”


When Jesus went to John to be baptized, it may have seemed to the casual observer that the lesser man had come to ask something of the greater. However, the two men themselves knew their true relationship. John knew that his sole purpose in life was to prepare for Jesus’ coming. Jesus was far greater than he. That’s why John was surprised that Jesus came to him for baptism. He said, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

Nevertheless, because Jesus requested it, John baptized him. He did what Jesus asked. And how happy he was that he did! There was no doubt in his mind that Jesus was his God and Savior. God had given John a sign saying that the man on whom he saw the Spirit rest was the Christ. When John saw a dove coming down from heaven and resting on Jesus, John knew that it was the Holy Spirit and that Jesus was the Christ.

If only everyone today would be convinced! Not everyone believes that Jesus is true God and the Savior. Many look at Jesus only as a great teacher. They honor him as a man who taught and lived morality as no one had before.

But think of the consequences for our salvation if Jesus was only a man, only a prophet. A mere man dying for us could never save us. A mere man teaching good morals could never have made us right with God.

Jesus’ baptism and the events surrounding it confirm Jesus’ identity. At the Jordan we see John’s testimony as he submits to Jesus’ will. At the Jordan we hear the testimony of the Father: “This is my Son.” At the Jordan we see the testimony of the Holy Spirit, anointing Jesus with power and equipping him for his office. Clearly, the matter has been settled once and for all: Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior. He can save us, and he alone deserves our trust.

Prayer: Dear Lord, let the light of Jesus’ baptism make it clear to me that God’s Son is my Savior. Amen.