Eyewitness: p. 36
In your Bible: Deut 18:15; Isa 40:3-5; John 1:19-34
Jesus said, “We must do all the God requires” (Matthew 3:15 Eyewitness) when John told him he needed to be baptized instead. Although he might not have understood, John did what Jesus said. At Jesus’ baptism, two things revealed that Jesus was the Son of God: (1) the Holy Spirit as a dove landed on Jesus, and (2) God’s voice, said Jesus was his Son and that he was well pleased with him.
Jesus is the One
John the Baptist made it clear his role was to point men to Christ. John gave this proof, “I would not have known him, but the one who sent me to baptize said, “The man on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. ‘With my own eyes, I saw it and can testify without reservation. He is the Son of God” (Eyewitness John 1:33,34).
Earlier a group of priests and Temple officials from Jerusalem had come to Bethany, to question John about who he was and why he was baptizing. They found out he was not who they thought he might be (The Messiah, Elijah, or the Prophet foretold by Moses). Now, they were confused.
Then he explained his role by quoting from Isaiah. John said, “I am the one who is shouting, ‘Clear a path in the wilderness, because the Lord our God is coming'” (John 1:23 Eyewitness).
Therefore when John saw Jesus at the Jordan River, he shouted, “Look! The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming who is much greater than I am’ because he existed long before me. I did not know who he was. I only knew that I must baptize people so he might be revealed to Israel” (John 1:29-31 Eyewitness).
This answer should have quelled the officials’ confusion, however, they still did not comprehend what God the Father was doing.
Prayer: Father, thank you that John obeyed Jesus, even when he thought it should be different. Help me to always obey you, even when I don’t understand.
Question: Why do you think God wanted to have John baptize Jesus? What does baptism mean in your life with God?