Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is fitting for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 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 alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Devotional: We looked briefly at Jesus’ baptism yesterday, but have you ever considered why Jesus was baptized? During this time, people were coming to John the Baptist and being baptized for the repentance of their sins. John was floored when Jesus approached him to be baptized, saying, “I need to be baptized by you and you come to me?”
John recognized Jesus as the Messiah, the perfect, sinless, spotless lamb of God. In fact, he was the one who acknowledged Jesus as such: “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:21. So why would the perfect, spotless Lamb of God submit himself to be baptized by John?
Jesus’ reply to John gives us some understanding: “Let it be so now; it is fitting for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
It is fitting. That is why he is doing it. It is fitting. What is fitting? Fulfilling all righteousness is fitting.
Clearly, Jesus saw his life as the fulfillment of all righteousness. The fact that participating in a baptism of repentance, even though he had no sins to repent of, in part, shows that the righteousness He wanted to fulfill was the righteousness required not of himself, but of every sinful man.
So he joined fallen humanity, for whom he was providing righteousness by sharing their baptism. Yet another display of Jesus’ humility and willingness to submit and yield himself to His Father’s will.
And His Father was greatly pleased.
- What do you make of Jesus submitting himself to be baptized, despite the fact He was sinless?
- What joy has been yours as you have followed His example?