Summary: Jesus did everything just as the Father wanted including His own baptism. He now enables us by His Spirit to live more and more as the Father desires.
I. A small country church was having a "baptizing" in a river on a cold January day.
A. A revival meeting had just concluded.
1. The preacher asked one baptismal candidate, "Is the water cold?"
2. "Naw!" he replied.
a. One of the deacons shouted: "Dip him ag'in preacher, he's still lyin'!"
B. Now why was Jesus baptized at all? And why be baptized by John?
II. 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
A. Jesus base of operations was in the northern area of Israel.
1. He came from the Nazareth a small village in Galilee.
a. Many of his disciples were employed in and around the Sea of Galilee in the north.
b. Galilee was far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem with all its political rankling.
2. Jesus journeyed to John.
a. The Messiah comes to the country preacher with poor and disheveled clothing.
b. Jesus the king of kings the Lord of Lords the Almighty, through whom all things were made, seeks out the hermit.
B. John is the one called to prepare the way of the Lord.
1. The Old Testament prophets foretold John’s coming as Elijah the voice calling in the midst of the wilderness.
2. John was probably the most righteous man alive at the time save Jesus.
a. He forsook all sorts of worldly things, living out in the wilderness.
b. He lived on natural honey, berries and whatever else he could find edible.
c. His clothes were tailor made from wild animal skins.
3. John saw his mission to prepare the way for Jesus and when Jesus would come, then Jesus would take over and John would be fed by Jesus.
4. I can imagine how many of us serve on organizations even church ministries and we just can’t wait till the newly elected officers takes over and we can get a break.
C. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
1. John knew his position and his own sin.
a. He could have been very worldly.
b. Boy won’t this look good on my resume.
c. Baptizer of Jesus the Messiah the King of Kings and the Second Person of the Godhead.
d. “He needed me and now He owes me one. I can ask for anything.”
2. Instead John knows his poverty and the indescribable worthy of Christ.
a. All four gospels repeat John’s words
b. Matt 3:11“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (NIV)
III. 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
A. Jesus knew His position for a time was servant.
1. Phil 2:5-8 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! (NIV)
2. “To fulfill all righteousness”
a. Righteousness is simply doing what is right.
b. Doing right is doing what God wants.
c. In everything, Christ sought to do exactly what the Father had planned.
3. John 15:10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. (NIV)
B. It is true that Jesus did not need to be baptized.
1. Baptism was a sign of repentance but under the new covenant it was also a symbol of the inward cleansing of Christ in the believers heart.
2. Rom 6:4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (NIV)
C. Baptism is the sign and seal of the New Covenant.
1. We die to self and we commit our sins to Christ’s atoning death.
a. We die with Him figuratively in baptism.
b. And we are also raised with Him.
2. How appropriate for the author of our salvation and the maker of this New Covenant to set the example of having this sign placed on Him.
a. Not because He needs salvation or cleansing.
b. But His baptism foretells His coming death, burial and resurrection for us.
D. He demonstrates symbolically what His entire earthly life was to be about.