<< Previous | Index | Next >>
                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                     The Baptism Of Jesus (3:13-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. The baptism of Jesus by John served a significant role in both of
   their ministries...
   a. It came at the height of John's ministry, after which his began
      to decline
   b. It served as the beginning of Jesus' ministry, which soon
      overtook the ministry of John

2. The baptism of Jesus naturally raises some questions...
   a. Why was He baptized?
   b. Does it suggest an explanation of the purpose for Christian
      baptism?

[In this study we shall endeavor to answer these questions, first by
reviewing the historical record concerning Jesus' baptism...]

I. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

   A. JESUS COMES TO JOHN...
      1. From Galilee to the Jordan River - Mt 3:13a
         a. Jesus had been living in Nazareth, a city of Galilee
            - Mt 2:23
         b. John had been baptizing in the Jordan River, where there
            was much water - Mt 3:5-6; Jn 3:23
      2. To be baptized by John - Mt 3:13b

   B. JOHN SEEKS TO PREVENT JESUS...
      1. John tried to prevent Jesus from being baptized - Mt 3:14a
      2. He explains why:  "I need to be baptized by You, and are You
         coming to Me?" - Mt 3:14b
         a. There is a sense of shock in John's words
         b. While John did not fully comprehend who Jesus was until
            later (cf. Jn 1:29-33), he evidently knew enough that he
            was perplexed

   C. JESUS PERSUADES JOHN...
      1. Jesus convinces John to permit His baptism - Mt 3:15a
      2. As Jesus explains why:  "It is fitting for us to fulfill all
         righteousness."
      3. And so Jesus is baptized by John - Mt 3:15b

   D. THE SPIRIT AND THE FATHER ADD THEIR TESTIMONY...
      1. The heavens open, and the Spirit of God descends like a dove
         (in bodily form, Lk 3:22) and lights upon Jesus - Mt 3:16
      2. A voice from heaven proclaims:
         a. "This is My beloved Son"
         b. "In whom I am well pleased"

[Without question, the baptism of Jesus was a significant event!  It
naturally raises several questions which I will try to answer...]

II. QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

   A. WHY WAS JESUS BAPTIZED?
      1. Clearly not for the same reason other people were being
         baptized by John
         a. Theirs was a baptism of repentance for the remission of
            sins - cf. Mk 1:4
         b. They were confessing their sins - cf. Mk 1:5; Mt 3:6
         -- Jesus was without sin - He 4:15
      2. Jesus said it was "to fulfill all righteousness" - Mt 3:15
         a. It was God's counsel that people be baptized of John
            - cf. Lk 7:29-30
         b. Jesus was willing to set the right example by doing the
            Father's will, something He delighted to do - Ps 40:7-8;
            Jn 4:34; 8:29
      3. It also served to introduce Him to John and Israel
         a. John had been proclaiming that He was coming - Mt 3:11
         b. John had been told that the Spirit coming upon Jesus would
            be a sign - Jn 1:29-34

   B. DOES JESUS' BAPTISM EXPLAIN THE PURPOSE OF CHRISTIAN BAPTISM?
      1. Many refer to Jesus' baptism to explain the purpose of
         Christian baptism
         a. That our baptism has nothing to do with the remission of
            sins
         b. That our baptism is but a public profession of one's faith
         c. That our baptism is to publicly identify our relation to
            Christ, just as His baptism publicly introduced Him to
            Israel
      2. However, there is no Biblical connection made between Jesus'
         baptism and our own
         a. Christian baptism is for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38;
            22:16
         b. Christian baptism is a union with Christ in His death
            - Ro 6:3-7
         c. Christian baptism was often administered in relative
            privacy - Ac 8:35-38; 16:25-34
      -- No Biblical writer suggests that we are baptized for the same
         reason Jesus was!

   C. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SPIRIT DESCENDING AND THE
      FATHER'S VOICE?
      1. They certainly bear testimony as to who Jesus is
         a. As the Spirit would do later, via the works Jesus did
            - Mt 12:28
         b. As the Father would do later, on another occasion - Mt 17:5
      2. They also bear testimony to the nature of the Godhead
         a. I.e., three distinct persons in One God
         b. Though One in substance, there is a distinction to be made
            between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - cf. Mt 28:19

CONCLUSION

1. With the baptism of Jesus...
   a. He was formally introduced to John, and by him to Israel - Jn 1:
      29-34
   b. The Father and the Spirit audibly and visually confirmed Him as
      the Son
   c. Jesus demonstrated His desire to "fulfill all righteousness"

2. The baptism of Jesus is certainly significant to Christians...
   a. Not we were baptized for the same reason as He
   b. But certainly in confirming that He was the Messiah
   c. And displaying the attitude that should be true of all His
      disciples ("I have come to do my Father's will...")

Jesus did not "need" baptism because He was without sin, but was
baptized anyway because it was the Father's will for man at that time.

Should we who are sinners dare hesitate to do the Father's will
regarding baptism today? - Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38
<< Previous | Index | Next >>


Home Page
Have A Bible Question? | Want A Free Bible Study Course? | Looking For A Church Near You?
Want To Talk With Someone By Phone? | Want To Discuss The Bible By Email?
Search The Outlines

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker