Summary: This message is an exploration of some Old Testament symbols of baptism. This message was used in preparation for baptism at church.
Title: Jesus, the Old Testament & Baptism – It mattered to Jesus
Theme: To show the importance of baptism and the symbols from the Old Testament
Text: Matthew 3:13 - 17
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
This is an interesting story in scripture. Especially considering who is requesting to be baptized. This is Jesus the Messiah. God Himself in the flesh. John had stated earlier.
John challenges Him (and rightly so) about baptizing Jesus. He says, “I need to be baptized by You”. He had been preaching:
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
So when Jesus shows up on the scene John shows his humility.
Baptism is a Symbol of Completion
I want to hone in on a key phrase as to why Jesus thought it necessary that He was baptized.
Yet Jesus makes a statement that is key to the purpose of baptism:
Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him.
- Original: p????´?- Transliteration: Pleroo - Phonetic: play-ro'-o
1. to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full a. to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
1. I abound, I am liberally supplied
2. to render full, i.e. to complete a. to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim b. to consummate: a number
1. to make complete in every particular, to render perfect
2. to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
c. to carry into effect, bring to realization, realize
1. of matters of duty: to perform, execute 2. of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish 3. to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment
Jesus is saying that I need to do this to make things complete. To show the completion of salvation. To fulfill “righteousness” The right way. The right showing to the public.
This idea of baptism adds something to us. It completes us. It shows the world publicly that we have made that step toward fully immersion in Christ.
How do we know this is important to Jesus
1. This is the very first thing He did publicly as He began His ministry.
2. The whole trinity was there. The father (voice), Holy Spirit (like a dove) and the Son.
I always thought it was interesting that John started his ministry by preaching repentance and baptizing people. This didn’t seem to be a common practice in the old testament. Yet before Jesus came if you were a gentile and wanted to convert to Judaism (become a Jew) there were two major requirements circumcision and baptism.
Maimonides, that greatly revered 12th century Jewish scholar, summed up all Talmudic tradition concerning converts to Judaism as follows.
By three things did Israel enter into the Covenant: by circumcision, and baptism and sacrifice. Circumcision was in Egypt, as it is written: 'No uncircumcised person shall eat thereof' (Exodus 12:48). Baptism was in the wilderness, just before giving of the Law, as it is written: 'Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes' (Exodus 19:10). And sacrifice, as it is said: 'And he sent young men of the children of Israel which offered burnt offerings' (Exodus 24:5)…When a gentile is willing to enter the covenant…He must be circumcised and be baptized and bring a sacrifice…And at this time when there is no sacrifice, they must be circumcised and be baptized; and when the Temple shall be built, they are to bring a sacrifice…The gentile that is made a proselyte and the slave that is made free, behold he is like a child new born. From https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/issues-v02-n10/baptism-pagan-or-jewish/