Why Was Jesus Baptized?
If you ask many Christians and theologians this question, why was Jesus baptized by John the Baptist you shall receive myriads of diverse answers.
Why is this happening and we are all getting our answers from the same source and book, the Holy Bible?
Nevertheless, according to the Holy Scriptures, John baptized Jesus, in order, that both he and the nation of Israel could recognize and know him as the promised Messiah, the Son of God.
John & Israel Did Not Know Who Was The Messiah
When John came preaching baptism unto repentance, everyone–including the religious leaders–thought that he was the Promised One.
That is to say That Prophet or the Messiah.
Consequently, the religious leaders of Israel sent a delegation to John to ascertain the certainty of their suspicion.
They should visit him and determine his true identity. Was he the Messiah or The Christ whom The Prophets and The Psalms had promised?
Why Did John Baptize Jesus?
Subsequently, the delegation visited John. And they asked him explicitly, are you the Messiah?
Listen as they interrogated the Baptizer.
“And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?“John 1:19
“And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.”John 1:20
“… They asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.”John 1:21
“Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?”John 1:22
“He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”John 1:23
So, John admitted to these leaders that he was not “The Christ” whom the Lord promised would come.
Note, also, above that when Jold told them who he was, his reply did not address their original question.
But they asked Why are you baptizing if you are not The Christ? John 1:25.
However, he will not leave their question unanswered.
He shall answer it later!
The Promise of a Messiah and How to Identify Him
“John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not.”John 1:26
“He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”John 1:27
Therefore, if they did not know who is the Messiah, then they could not identify Him!
This One Event Reveals Why Was Jesus Baptized By John?
Above, John explained who he was, but, he did not answer the second question of the delegation right away. See John 1:23.
They wanted to know, if he was not the Messiah, The Christ, or That Promphet, then why was he baptizing all the people and by extension Jesus Christ?
The following is John’s explanation, to his disciples, the next day after the delegation had left, clarifying why he baptized Jesus.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.John 1:29
“This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.”John 1:30
“And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.”John 1:31
So, not only did Israel not know The Messiah but John was also ignorant of his identity!
The Baptism of Jesus
Above, John explained the reason he baptized Jesus. He informed us that neither he nor Israel knew who the Messiah was.
However, through his baptism, by water, they will know him for he will be “manifest to Israel”.
This means that by this method they will know the identity of the Messiah.
Then John makes it clearer for them and us. He informs, I baptize with water but the Messiah baptizes with fire and the Holy Ghost.
This fundamental feature adequately differentiates John from The Messiah.
Why Was Jesus Baptized if He Was Sinless?
Water baptism by immersion does has the additional benefit of cleansing us, but the removal of sin was never the primary motive for baptism.
As a result, the baptism of Jesus was never to remove his sins for he had none nor was it to indicate repentance.
An additional reason, other than the one stated above, is to accomplish the words of the prophets and the Psalms.
What Is The Message of the Baptism of Jesus?
Even when Christ is amongst us if we don’t know how to identify and recognize Him we will miss Him!
If Jesus was sinless, why did John baptize him? And in answering any other queries relating to the baptism of Jesus Christ, let’s utilize the Word of God as our only authority.
There’s no place here for opinions for everyone has at least one.
These points of view:
- Jesus’ baptism was some kind of ceremonial washing
- It’s a public demonstration of faith and identification with the people
- The question is not whether John was appropriate to baptize Jesus but why did he?
We could do without these! They miss the most important message of the baptism of Jesus Christ!
In closing, according to the Scriptures, John baptized Jesus to fulfill all righteousness.
This includes the righteousness of maintaining the unbreakable nature of the Holy Scriptures.
He did it to accomplish the words of all the prophets and of the Lord God.
And finally, to identify and reveal to Israel and John, The Messiah, The Christ, and That Prophet as Jesus Christ the Son of God.