Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

This is the simple message of Jesus for you and for me. Jesus humbled himself on our behalf. That is why he entered into the baptism waters, to show his solidarity with you and with me. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. At that time, Jesus came from Nazareth and Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the spirit descending on him like a dove and a voice came from heaven. You are my son with whom I am well pleased. This is the word of the Lord. Thanks. Be together. You may be seated.


There is a lot going on in this brief, six verses or seven verses of scripture, and part of it is Jesus and John the Baptist being connected to the Old Testament prophecies that were written about, the one who was to come, that he would have a messenger that went before him, who was John the Baptist, and that he would come and the clouds breaking open and proclaiming that Jesus is God's sum. There's a lot of powerful illustrations there for us in this passage today, but honestly over the years as I have read this story there, there've been many times where I was very confused by what was going on. I don't know if that's the same for you, or maybe you've understood it more than I have or better than I have all along. But what's confusing to me is why did Jesus get baptized? Have you ever thought about that? Why did Jesus get baptized? Now, for you and for me, if you and I, or when you and I became followers of Jesus, we accepted Jesus's grace, we were probably encouraged to be baptized because baptism is twofold. Baptism is for repent is a sign of repentance and a sign of forgiveness. When we repent and we receive forgiveness, when we are born again, we enter into the baptism waters in order to proclaim outwardly what is taking place inwardly.


But as we know, Jesus of course had no need of repentance nor forgiveness. In fact, when we are baptized, we are baptized into the life of Jesus as a sign of being grafted into his family as people following his way. If you go back and you look about baptism in the Jewish context, baptism most often had to do with ceremonial washings and cleansings. But again, this is not necessarily something that Jesus would've needed to do. So as I have looked into this and studied this and tried to answer the question, why was Jesus baptized, I found the key that makes for me at least the most sense as to what was going on as Jesus entered the baptism waters and was baptized by John. And it comes from a letter that at least in the Bible follows Mark in two Corinthians 5 21. Here is what it says, God made him and that him is Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As best as I can understand what Mark is trying to signify here and talking about Jesus being baptized is the solidarity that Jesus claimed, not because he had to, but because he chose to. The solidarity that he claimed with you and me, he became sin so that through him we might become his righteousness.


This is the simple message of Jesus for you and for me. Jesus humbled himself on our behalf. That is why he entered into the baptism waters to show his solidarity with you and with me. So what does this mean for why is this important? Well, of course we could spend now and many hours after talking about the significance of this and how this applies to us, but I want to just briefly highlight three things that I believe for us today are things that I am seeking to make the foundation of my life in 2024, and things that I would invite you to consider for you to remember at the top of your mind as often as possible as we go through this next year. First and foremost, what this means for us that Jesus entered into solidarity with us is that Jesus gets you. Jesus understands you. He understands what you're going through. He understands the human struggle. He understands one moment being on top of the world, and the next moment feeling like the world is on top of you, Jesus gets you. The second thing that it means for us is that Jesus is with you.


Every moment of every day in life's darkest valleys. When life is filled with hope and promise, Jesus is with you. It's one of the reasons why each time we gather, we proclaim, Jesus is here by the Spirit. He is here. It's one of the things that of my New Year's resolutions, if you'll call it that. Anytime I pass through a doorway, my goal is to remind myself, Jesus is here. Whatever that doorway leads to, that Jesus is here because Jesus is with us. Jesus is with you. He gets you. He is with you. And finally, it means that you can trust Jesus. You can trust Jesus. If Jesus said it, if Jesus taught it, if Jesus encouraged it, you can trust it. And I believe holy and fully that if we individually and as a community, I would fully and completely trust Jesus, that we would see things that don't make sense unfold in our lives, in our church, and in our neighborhood.