Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”
Proper to do this to fulfill all righteousness? Righteousness means right standing from right living. For Jesus, getting baptized was the right thing to do before God and the people gathered there. I find myself asking, “Why?”The only answer given comes in the description of what happens next. I’ve seen a lot of baptisms, but there has only ever been one like this.
“Heaven was opened,” pause a moment to imagine that moment. What did that look like? How would you have felt as it was happening?
“He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” It was obvious that this was the Spirit of God. How was that obvious? Pause a moment and imagine how one would have known that this “form of a dove” was God’s Spirit?
The voice! The sky tears open, the Spirit of God falls on Jesus and then the voice of God proclaims that Jesus is his Son, his beloved Son! What a powerful moment! What a powerful proclamation!
Every baptism is a powerful proclamation! Jesus’ baptism was the one where God spoke and announced, “He is with me!” In every believer’s baptism since we get to be the ones who speak and announce, “I’m with Him!”
Let’s live out that proclamation today, “I’m with Him!”; enjoying the truth that the love God has for his Son falls on our shoulders too. Also, if you have not yet followed in Jesus’ footsteps and publicly proclaimed your faith through baptism, remember, “it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”
Pastor John Riley
Junior High Ministry