The Baptism of Jesus and the Testimony of God

Posted by admin on 24 April 2022 in John, Matthew |

Matthew 3:13-17

Verses parallel to Matthew 3:13-17 are Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, and John 1:29-34.

See Matthew 3:13-14.

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, ‘I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?’

John knew Jesus personally and he knew that Jesus was more righteous than him [2]. So, he considered that Jesus should give him the baptism of repentance. So, he deterred Jesus (14).

However, John did not know Jesus as the Messiah until the revelation (John 1:33-34).

What was the response of Jesus? See Matthew 3:15.

Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then John consented.

“Jesus’ somewhat ambiguous reply seems to acknowledge the force of John’s logic but nevertheless requests baptism for different reasons. Jesus has not come to confess any sin but ‘to fulfil all righteousness.’ He has previously fulfilled specific prophecies as well as more general scriptural themes. Now he wishes to obey all the moral demands of God’s will.” [3]

“ ‘To fulfil all righteousness’ means to complete everything that forms part of a relationship of obedience to God. In so doing, Jesus identifies with and endorses John’s ministry as divinely ordained and his message as one to be heeded.” [3]

See Matthew 3:16–17.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptised, 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. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’

The Father, the Son (17) and the Holy Spirit (16) appear in these verses. The verses relevant to the voice from heaven (17) are in Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1 among Psalm 2:1-12 and Isaiah 42:1-7 written about the Messiah.

“Nothing suggests that Jesus began a relationship with the Holy Spirit only at this point. Matthew 2:15 makes clear that Matthew views Jesus as God’s Son at least from infancy, while Matthew 1:23 views him as “God with us” from birth.” [3]

As in Psalm 2 (Royal Enthronement), v16-17 shows a formal instalment and commissioning [1]. Jesus’ baptism was ‘proper’ (15) as “God is initiating Jesus into the public phase of his ministry on earth.” [3]

Related to the event in v16-17, Jesus said in John 5:36-40.

John 5:36-40 (NIVUK): 36 ‘I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

(‘Testimonies about Jesus’ is written in John 5:31-47)

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011), Revised and updated edition. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011), Mt 3:13–14.
[2] Did John the Baptist know Jesus
as the Messiah? Do Matt 3:14 and John 1:33 conflict? 05/04/2022]; Available from:
[3] Bloomberg, Craig L. The New American Commentary: Matthew

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