Summary: Why did the Perfect Son of God need to be baptized and what relevance did that event have for sinners?

Jesus: The Fulfillment ALL of Righteousness

Matthew 3:13-17

I. Jesus was baptized “To Fulfill ALL Righteousness.”

A. He identified with sinners although He was sinless

B. He kept the law perfectly.

C. He had to perfectly live as well as die.

D. He initiated the sacrament of baptism.

II. The Trinity is displayed at Jesus’ Baptism!

A. The baptism of the Son

B. The anointing of the Spirit.

C. The word of the Father.

III. What is the significance for us today?

A. Through Jesus, the heavens open for us.

B. Through Jesus’ righteousness and the Holy Spirit’s washing, we are accepted as righteous to God: It is not our act but His “Imputation.”

C. John’s words reflect our need: “I need to be baptized by you.”

D. John’s actions: He consented to Jesus (permitted).

Why did Jesus come to a baptism that was intended for sinners? It’s kind of strange, John was refusing to baptize the Pharisees because they were impenitent, and he refuses to baptize Jesus because he was perfect. Did Jesus NEED to be baptized? He didn’t need forgiveness. He didn’t NEED to turn from sin; He didn’t need to repent. He didn’t need a conversion, and He didn't need a transformation, and He didn't need to change His life or change His heart. IF that baffles you, it disturbed John too.

Listen to Matthew 3:13 “Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" 15 But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him.”

16 “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

There has been much dialogue concerning whether John the Baptist knew Jesus before His baptism. Since they were “cousins”, it would seem ludicrous that the mothers and fathers of both would not have shared post birth information after angel visits and everything else that occurred!

In John 1:29, John recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God, ("Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”) and that truth was certainly confirmed to him when John “consented” and baptized Jesus. It was THEN that the Spirit of God descended on Him as a dove and a voice came from heaven: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” What was the reason for Jesus’ baptism according to Matthew 3:15?

I. Jesus was baptized “To Fulfill all Righteousness” vs. 15 ( to make full, to fill up, ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS:{Dikaiosune (dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay} the condition or state which is acceptable to God; to be innocent, faultless, guiltless before God.

A. He identified with sinners although HE was sinless. Isaiah 53:11, "My righteous servant shall bear the sin of many.” Jesus was immersed in the dirty Jordan along with all of the other sinners who came to repent. He was immersed in the sins of man. Their sins would wash over Him, the SINLESS ONE, when the wrath of God against sin was poured over Him on the cross.

2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV says: “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

B. He kept the law perfectly (fulfilling it) and He also participated in every righteous and Godly act. He DID everything perfectly and NEVER omitted anything either. I am certain that Jesus never used some of the excuses that we use in order to avoid ministering to others. Jesus had to perfectly LIVE as well as DIE. If He had been killed by Herod along with the other baby boys of Bethlehem, His earthly mission would have failed, because God demanded not only a perfect sacrifice, but also a life that is lived perfectly.

Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. "For by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”. (Rom 3:19) And in Romans 8:3 we read: But "God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us."

When the Rich Young Ruler asked what He must do to obtain eternal life, Jesus told him to obey the commandments and he will live. When he said that he had done that, Jesus said: “Then go and sell everything you have.” The man went away because he had many possessions.

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