Matthew 3:13-17: The Baptism of Jesus: Accept the Mission
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John in order to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it now, for in this way it is right for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted him. 16 Now after he was baptized, Jesus immediately went up from the water, and behold, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove coming upon him. 17 And behold, there was a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Today we are going to talk about Baptism
A person’s commitment through faith promotes the desire for baptism in obedience to the Call of God.
Those who baptize babies (which I don’t really agree with) do so in the belief that one day they will make a faith commitment.
Do you remember your baptism?
I remember mine. there were several of us being baptised after a revival meeting. I was 9 years old. I remember that I was nervous. We put on white robes at that church to symbolize purity. And to make sure nothing inappropriate was worn. I remember my brother who was baptized with me just jumped into the pool more than walking down into the water. It takes faith to let someone dunk you in the water. Do you remember your baptism. What a blessing to have Jesus’ baptism written down.
But what was baptism in the bible?
Have you ever wondered where the idea of baptism comes from?
Have you ever wondered why John was out in the desert baptizing people?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus was baptized?
These are some of the things were are going to be looking at.
To help me understand I turned to Rabbi Rosen who is associated with Jews for Jesus Written many articles on JewsforJesus.org to help Jews and gentiles alike understand.
To understand where baptism comes from we must understand that rituals do not just spring up over night. They are cultivated over time. As people learn, and develop and as cultures change and develop.
The ritual of Baptism is no exception. Ceremonial washing is an idea that dates back as far as history.
10 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes,
God Commands the people to wash their clothing as a symbolic act of purification
6 So Moses brought Aaron and his sons near, and he washed them with water.
Records the washing of Aaron and his sons when they were ordained as priests to minister in the Holy Tabernacle
4 He must put on a holy linen tunic, and linen undergarments must be on his body, and he must fasten himself with a linen sash, and he must wrap a linen turban around his head—they are holy garments, and he shall wash his body with water, then he shall put them on.
God commanded Aaron to wash himself before and after he ministered in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement
Numbers 19 Gives instruction for purification after defilement by a dead body. Which included cleansing with fresh water.
The OT also has different account so of men and women being purified by water for healing after flows of various body fluids and leprosy.
All these water rituals formed the basis for the Jewish Mikveh laws
Mikveh is Ritual immersion of the body in a pool of water upon conversion. It was used alongside circumcision when a gentile wanted to become Jewish. The water of mikveh is designed to ritually cleanse a person from deeds of the past. The Convert is considered by Jewish law to be like a newborn child. No one knows exactly who or when this added ritual became a requirement but it was before the time of Jesus. And different rabbinic Schools (like denominations) stressed different things.
One school stressed circumcision
Another stressed baptism because it portrayed spiritual cleansing and the beginning of a new life.
Talmudic tradition: “ When a gentile is willing to enter the covenant…. He must be circumcised and be baptized and bring a sacrifice…And at this time when there in no sacrifice, they must be circumcised and be baptized; and when the Temple shall be built, they are to bring ta sacrifice… The gentile that is made proselyte and the slave that is made free, behold he is like a child new born.”
This beings said no one thought it odd for a man John the baptizer (yochanon ben zechariah) to be out baptizing people in the Jordan calling for them to repent of their sin and be symbolically cleansed. Like a new born baby.
Now it is Jesus that comes and he is about the age of 30. We haven’t seen him since he was about 12.
Matthew begins by showing that Jesus made the initiative. He went to John to be baptized by him. Jesus insisted that he be baptized by John. Even though John Argued against it. John argued that he is unworthy, so unworthy that he needed to be baptized by Jesus.
Peter’s argument against Jesus washing his feet is similar. But Jesus recognized that his baptism was proper and right.
Let it be so now for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.
Evidence of The righteous house he was raised in. But it also identifies Jesus or he identified himself as one who has sent to suffer God’s wrath and Judgment. So, that all that might believe in him might go free Because of his righteousness
Normally, John very demanding upon all who came to him for baptism, required the confession of sins and evidence of repentance. Not with Jesus. Sees no sin in him. Still he came to be baptized
When Jesus was baptized he came out and the heavens were opened and a dove came. Dove is a rabbinical symbol for Israel or The Sprit Holy Spirit landed on Jesus. This is my son whom I am well Pleased. An acknowledgment of who Jesus Is, and now after the righteous Messiah gave his life as an atonement for sin, baptism took on a different and fuller meaning for those who believed it was now a new and permanent cleansing through his sacrificial death.
Important enough that God (Jesus) did it.
Why? What makes it so important. What does it do? Cleansing of Sin. Outward sign of inward transformation. Jesus didn’t need this but it was important to fulfill the righteousness. Set that example for us. His doing this associates him with those that would follow after.
It is also the acceptance of a call. You were called to salvation. With the baptism you have accepted this call. Just the beginning of the calls you will receive acceptance of a mission. Something we leave out when we tell people about baptism. I know I wasn’t told. When you are baptized you are accepting a mission. The mission of God.
Jesus accepted his mission when he was baptized. So do we.
What baptism is not
What baptism is not
It is not a magic washing that makes all your sins go away And makes you magically saved. It is not something you need to do every time you mess up. It is not something that if you don’t do you won’t Go to heaven. But it is a call of obedience.
May be someone in here that needs to accept Jesus as lord and be baptized washed form past as a new born. That’s great but what about us that have already baptized. We have already been washed. I know I was at nine. Baptism is a time of acceptance as well as cleansing.
Did you accept his call?
Call to grow in him. A call to be a new creation set apart. Maybe you need to pray for spiritual washing because you have dirtied yourself up sin. Sin stains you you don’t need to be re-baptized but you need to be cleansed and let his anointing waters flow over your spirit
Don’t let fear, or embarrassment, or ignorance be your excuses.
Harris, W. Hall, III, Elliot Ritzema, Rick Brannan, Douglas Mangum, John Dunham, Jeffrey A. Reimer, and Micah Wierenga, eds. The Lexham English Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012.
Grudem, Wayne A. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004.
Got Questions Ministries. Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2002–2013.