Why was Jesus Baptised?



St. Patrick baptized King Aengus by full immersion in the Fifth Century AD. During the baptismal ceremony, (so the story goes) St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertently stabbed the king’s foot.

After the baptism was over, St. Patrick looked down at all the blood, realized what he had done, and begged the king’s forgiveness.

“Why did you suffer this pain in silence,” St Patrick asked.

The king replied, “I thought it was part of the ritual.” !

The story may make us chuckle, but there may be more truth in that than meets the eye. The Baptism of Jesus is one of the events that all three of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) describe and so was obviously an event that the early Church saw as of great importance.

St. Mark’s Gospel gives us the briefest details. Surprising the historian St. Luke doesn’t give us much more, but St. Matthew fills out the story a little bit more:

(Mt. 3:13-17). 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 lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.


The story is well known. John the Baptist has been summoning people everywhere to repent and Jesus, amongst others, responds by being baptized. 

But have you ever wondered,

              Why did Jesus need to be baptized?”

Does Jesus, the incarnate Son of God need to repent? Well before I am accused of heresy let me say no I don’t think Jesus needed to repent.

But I do think that St. Matthew’s account gives us a clue why Jesus was baptized. In that account, we read that John the Baptist at first refused to baptize him, because John felt unworthy. However, Jesus said:

“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

What did Jesus mean? I think theologian Michael Green hit the nail on the head when he said: “By submitting to baptism, Jesus acknowledged God’s claim on him, as on others, for total consecration of life and holiness of character” (The Message of Matthew – Michael Green p. 80).

This makes sense. I believe there are three reasons that Jesus was baptized.

1. The first reason that I believe Jesus was baptized is that Jesus’ baptism was a manifestation (epiphany) of his Godhood. This was shown when the Spirit of God manifested to Jesus and declared his sonship.


For everyone else who came to John for baptism, it was required of them, a change in direction in their lifestyle– hence the call for them to repent of their old ways and to turn to God’s way of life. 

But for Jesus baptism was also a public declaration of his love of God the Father and to acknowledge that he was following the will of God in His life.

And you will recall Jesus words in the garden of Gethsemane when he knew that he was going to die on the Cross, he prayed:
Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42) 

It was the ultimate submission to the Father’s will – to go to the cross for our sakes – to reconcile us to the Father. But following the Father’s will was going to be a painful experience.

Jesus’ baptism was a public declaration of his commitment to the Father. But Jesus baptism was more:

2. The second reason that I think Jesus was baptized was it announced the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Both John the Baptist and God the Father both confirmed Jesus’ unique calling publicly. Jesus’ baptism was a consecration for ministry. Perhaps you will remember the Father saying something similar at the mount of Transfiguration.

(Mk 9:7) Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

3. The third reason that I think Jesus was baptized was as an example to us.

Jesus taught his followers to be baptized – and here he is giving a firm lead. His baptism was an example that we will do well to follow.

The Great Commission in Mt 28 reads as follows: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name Father Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you “(Mt. 28:19-20)

And we see God the Father’s response: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”

I think this is the nugget that we do well to apply to our own lives is that we should live so that the Father is pleased with us. For when God is pleased, nothing else matters- or does it?

It reminds me of a story that Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936) the great Canadian missionary in China, used to tell the story about his
 father who put him in charge of one of the family’s many farms. He drew special attention to one very large field, which had become choked with weeds. His father told Jonathan “Get that field clear and ready for planting. Then at harvest time, I’ll return and inspect it.”

Jonathan put a lot of time in plowing and reploughing, sunning the deadly roots and plowing again until the whole field was ready for seeding. He then went and procured the best seed for sowing. 

When all was finished, Jonathan invited his father over to inspect the field. When his father arrived, Jonathan led him to a high spot from which the whole field of beautiful waving corn could be seen. Jonathan didn’t say a word – he only waited for the words.. ” Well Done”.

His father stood for several minutes silently examining the field for any sign of weeds, but there were none. Turning to his son, he just smiled. Johnathan Goforth said that smile was all the reward I wanted. Goforth used to say “I knew my father was pleased. So, it will be if we are faithful to the trust our heavenly father”.

Can you relate to Johnathan Goforth in some way? If so – leave a comment- I  would love to hear from you!

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.

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Remember to Live Life on Purpose in Hope, Faith & Love,

Virtual hugs,💕

I look forward to your visit to my next blog post.

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A New Baby! But who is it?

TO READ Luke 1 ON LINE- https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%201&version=NIV

Congratulations to the new mums who are experiencing their baby’s first Christmas.

A lot of us welcomed a new Grandchild or Great Grandchild into the world during the pandemic and were not able to see them until the lockdown was over. Our hearts were heavy and we wondered will we ever see our loved ones again soon. However, now it’s all over we hope- and this Christmas can be a real celebration when we once again, enjoy the company of our loved ones and cwtch those new babies!

Most of us love it when a new baby is expected into the family. Whether the child was planned or a surprise, with excitement, we speculate on what gender of the child might be, if he or she will look like mum or dad or even one of the grandparents! Our thoughts, conversations, and plans in the months running up to the delivery are full of joy and hope.

It was no different with Mary and her family. After all, they were an average family from humble roots. Having learned from the angel that she will give birth to the Son of God, Mary hurries to visit her pregnant relative Elizabeth in the hill country.

The intimate conversation that follows portrays Jesus as more important than Elizabeth’s baby John. It also shows that God is already at work to bring saving grace into the world. The limelight shines on Mary and Elizabeth, ordinary women through whom God has chosen to begin the transformation of the world.

Luke 1:39-45,
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham, and to his descendants forever."

The Power of Prophecy

Then and today, women are often overlooked or ignored both in society and in biblical narratives. Mary’s first words prompt an immediate response from Elizabeth’s unborn child. Invitro John leaps, acknowledging both Mary’s presence and the significance of the child she carries in her womb. John’s reaction to Mary’s voice fulfills Gabriel’s prophecy, “even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:15).

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth, prophecies what is not yet visible to the eye. Furthermore, through the Spirit, she knows who Mary’s child is- the saviour of the world- for she calls Mary “the mother of my Lord.” In time to come, it is her son, John who prepares the way for the Lord.

It’s worth noting here that by greeting Mary with reverence, Elizabeth overturns social expectations. Mary is an unmarried pregnant woman. She might expect judgment, ridicule, even banishment from her older kinswoman.

But Elizabeth doesn’t judge she also blesses, by proclaiming both Mary and the fruit of Mary’s womb is “blessed” she begins a series of blessings that intertwine within Luke’s birth narrative.

Mary is indeed blessed not only as of the mother of the Lord but also for her unhesitating and complete trust in God’s promise.

When Elizabeth says, “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord,” she compares Mary’s trust in God’s power and promises with her own husband Zechariah’s distrustful questioning.

Question. How do we know that Zechariah is distrustful?

Answer. He asked for proof that the angel’s word was true. (seeing is believing)

Mary although very young and marginalized (as women were in those days)- obviously was an intelligent, thinking woman, asked for an explanation of what was going to happen to her, and then gave her willing consent. (believing is seeing)

In contrast, Zechariah the educated, experienced in years, a religious professional who should know better doubted God!

Elizabeth continues to turn social norms on their head by opening her arms and her home to the young, single relative whom her neighbours may have expected her to reject.

Jesus Manifests Elizabeth’s Welcome

Surprise- Surprise- When Elizabeth welcomes Mary, she practices the same kind of inclusive love that Jesus will show to the marginalized, prostitutes, and sinners. She sees beyond the shamefulness of Mary’s situation to the truth of God’s love at work in a society that rejects and excludes. I wonder- Do we do that?

The Challenge for Us

Elizabeth’s words and actions invite us to reflect upon our own openness to the ways that God chooses to act in our world.

What is God doing through unexpected people in our society today?

Where is God at work through people whom our neighbours or churches often exclude or treat as shameful?

Will we listen to the Spirit’s prompting when the champions of God’s new reality show up on our doorstep?

These are indeed sobering questions for us all this Christmas! I hope you will be with the ones you love this Christmas, but, if you find yourself alone- be assured that the Lord is with you- so you Never Walk Alone!

Happy Christ – mas (translation- Christ Celebration)

Virtual Hugs –  Paula💕

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🖤🖤🖤ABOUT Me👱‍♀‍ My name is Paula Rose Parish and I’ve been indie publishing since 2021. In that time, I have published 2 books and working on another. I have a master’s in counseling & coaching, a pastor, and a public speaker.

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