13. Then Jesus appeared. He came from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14. But John tried to stop him and said, “I need to be baptized by you. Why are you coming to me?” 15. Jesus answered him, “This is the way it has to be now. This is the proper way to do everything that God requires of us.” Then John gave in to him. 16. After Jesus was baptized, he immediately came up from the water. Suddenly, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down as a dove to him. 17. Then a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love–my Son with whom I am pleased.”
Do you, like me, and like John the baptizer, find it odd that Jesus wound request to be baptized? We’re not alone. Theologians have questioned, debated, and theorized for centuries about this event in the Lord’s life. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice without spot or blemish. Since he was without sin, he had nothing for which to repent.
And what did Jesus say about the reason for being baptized? “This is the way it has to be now. This is the proper way to do everything that God requires of us.”
Though it is difficult or impossible for us to understand, it was required by God. It was that initial step required before beginning his public ministry. And, as a dutiful son, he obeyed. He who had no need, humbled himself to be baptized.
PrayerLord, we are once again reminded that we don’t need to understand but to obey.
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