Verse: Matthew 3:13-15
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

Ok, first impressions? Anyone have the same thought as me? Can you imagine baptizing JESUS?! This is wild, let’s dig in.

This is the first we see of Jesus after learning all about His birth. The story of His life picks back up here. He is approximately 30 years old here (Luke 3:23). The first act we see from Him is to go get baptized by John. That signals to us that if Jesus saw this as important enough to prioritize first, to travel out to John the Baptist for this, we should pay attention.

John the Baptist and Jesus were not lost to the irony of the situation. John knew Jesus should be baptizing Him, not the other way around. They both knew Jesus had no sin, nothing He needed to be cleansed of. However, Jesus did it because He saw the big picture. He knew the significance of engaging in this publicly.

When John questioned Him, Jesus said “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Baptism in itself does not make one righteous. However, it is the symbolic first step of dying to ourselves and our sin, and entering into a new life with God. It is an outward sign of what the Lord is doing internally as we turn from our own ways and set our eyes on His righteousness. Jesus was already perfectly righteous and sin free. However, God sees baptism as so important, that Jesus himself was baptized. This is the first sign of Jesus standing in the place of fallen man, just as He would do years later on the cross. He had no sins to confess and turn from, but as He was baptized He identified with the fallen people around Him in a new way and models for them the path to Life.

Last impressions… Jesus, fully God and also fully human. John the Baptist, an ordinary man doing amazing this with his ministry because of his obedience to God. Jesus chose to be baptized by John. Does this blow anyone else’s minds? This passage makes me reflect on two things

1- how important baptism is. If Jesus didn’t overlook it, I shouldn’t either. He prioritized it first and that should always signal to me how important it is.

2- look at the amazing way God used John, an ordinary man doing extraordinary ministry. Can you imagine what it must have felt like for John to baptize Jesus? He felt the same thing many of us feel when God wants to use us. His first reaction was that there was no way He was equipped to do this, that Jesus should be the one doing it. I know I battle this all the time. When God wants to use me for something, my first thought is “are you sure? Isn’t there someone better for this job”? John trusted Jesus when He told him that he needed to do it and consented in obedience. Unknowingly, John got to participate in the launch of Jesus’ ministry that changed the world. I don’t want to miss out on being a part of the life changing ministry Jesus is doing here because I’m scared. I want to be obedient as John the Baptist was so I can also be used and get a sideline view of all of the amazing work He is doing in our world.

Note: if you’re reading this and haven’t been baptized since you made the decision to follow God, reach out to someone from our leadership team. Let’s talk about it.

Lord, thank you for showing me what it was like for Jesus to start ministry here on earth. Jesus, thank You for showing me the ways I can follow You by showing me what You prioritized here. God, help me to be obedient like John the Baptist was. Use me here, as You used him, to be a part of Your world shaking ministry, bringing light to a dark broken world. we love You Lord, amen.

Author: Becca Artymenko