Jesus Baptized | Mark 1:9
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee
and was baptized by John in the Jordan.”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus was baptized? John the Baptist was baptizing those repenting of their sins. Scripture, however, presents Jesus as the sinless Son of God. John proclaims Jesus to be the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn 1:29). So we can understand that, in Mt 3:14, John resists the notion of baptizing Christ—“I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” John wondered, too.
Jesus said that it is necessary (Mt 3:15). Why? For at least two reasons. First, through His baptism, Jesus identifies with those who were repenting and truly seeking the Lord. Those who were coming to John to be baptized were responding to the call of repentance. Jesus, though Himself not requiring repentance, puts Himself in the place of sinners. He will be their required righteousness when the time is right.
Second, baptism paints an image of the end of Christ’s ministry. He will die for sinners, be buried, and raise on the third day for those who trust in Him. Rm 6:3–4 reads, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Ultimately, it’s not about being baptized with water, because Jesus didn’t baptize John when asked. What we have here is the sinless Son of God standing in the place of sinners. It foreshadows the union we have with Christ through spiritual baptism, knowing that nothing can separate us from Him. It communicates the hope of new life, grace for today and hope for tomorrow. This is what we confess when we stand before others and are physically baptized.
Consider the wonders of the gospel today. As you consider it, remember how Paul instructed us to deal with sin in light of our baptism into Christ—“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rm 6:11).