Matthew 3:13-17 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. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on
him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."
Why did Jesus, who had no sin (Hebrews 4:15), come to be baptized by John who was baptizing with water for repentance from sin? Jesus gives us the answer in verse 15, "...it is fitting to fulfill all righteousness." What does it mean to fulfill righteousness? Paul gives us that answer in Romans 6:16, ...obedience leads to righteousness." Jesus was baptized by John in obedience to His Father (John 14:31). Jesus identifies with the sinfulness of mankind and leads every individual to acknowledge his/her sin by repenting of it. Jesus gives us an example to follow.
When Jesus came up out of the water after being baptized by John, the Holy Spirit of God descended on Him as a dove. Jesus was fully human and fully God. The Apostle Paul instructs us that Jesus humbled Himself by becoming a man who could be tempted in all ways as we are yet not sin (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:15). He completed His earthly ministry by the power of the Holy Spirit as an example to all believers. John was a witness that the Spirit of God had descended upon Him.God the Father also spoke for all to hear, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased."
What life lessons can we learn from this passage of scripture?
1. We need to acknowledge and repent of our sin. This is the first step in getting the help we need. No acknowledgement of sin, means no need of salvation (see Luke 7:29-30).
2. We need the Holy Spirit to live free from sin and to complete the work God has given us to do. When we repent of our sin and believe the gospel, we receive the Holy Spirit (read the following scriptures: Mark 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit enables us to obey the Lord and fulfill all righteousness (Ezekiel 36:27; Romans 6:16b)
Have you repented of your sin and believed the gospel? If you have, are you living in obedience to the Lord? Could the Lord say to you, "This is my beloved child with whom I am well-pleased."