Jesus’ Attitude Toward Baptism

The subject of water baptism is a heavily debated subject in religion. Some people think baptism is not necessary. Some people such as Calvinists say baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. The person we need to go to on this subject is Christ Himself. What was Jesus’ attitude toward baptism?

First, I’d like for us to dive into Jesus’ attitude while He was on the earth. The Bible reveals Jesus was wholly committed to His purpose. In fact, in John 4:34 Jesus says, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” Jesus’ very food (what provides strength, nourishment, and even comfort) was to do the will of God. This was Jesus’ attitude toward the commandments of His Heavenly Father.

We also read in Philippians 2:7 that He “emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant.” And “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8b). Jesus was so dedicated to doing the will of God that He became obedient to the point of death. Jesus’ death was prophesied in detail in Isaiah 53, nearly 750 years before Christ came to earth. The account goes into detail of how He would be crushed, oppressed, and like a lamb led to slaughter. Yet Jesus still drank the cup that His Father set before Him. Jesus was single-minded in His purpose of doing God’s will.

Now, let’s look at the attitude Jesus had during His baptism. Matthew 3:13-17 records the account of Jesus’ baptism. It states how Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized. The fact that Jesus goes to John to be baptized shows that Jesus viewed it as essential. Even further down in verses 14-15 it reads, “But John tried to prevent Him saying, I have need to be baptized by You and do You come to me? But Jesus answering said to him, Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” The last phrase Jesus uses (“It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”) is key to understanding His mindset. This phrase (“fulfill all righteousness”) means doing the will of God. John tried to prevent Jesus from being baptized by Him because He knew Jesus was greater than Him. Jesus did not back down and agree with John. Instead, Jesus said to permit it at this time. John’s baptism was a command of God and his baptism was of heavenly origin (i.e. the mind of God). Jesus was intent on obeying that commandment.

In like manner, baptism by the authority of Jesus Christ is a commandment of God. The resurrected Jesus says, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, He who disbelieves shall be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). The resurrected Jesus also said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:18-19). Will you have the attitude of Jesus toward baptism? The scriptures reveal that “baptism now saves you” (1 Pet. 3:21). Neither John Calvin nor the Protestant organization saves you from sin. It does not matter what mere fallible men say on the issue of baptism. The real question is, what does Christ, the Source of all life say on this issue? I beckon you to please consider your eternal destiny and your relationship with God and obey the Lord and Savior. Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins!

Adapted from Jordan Lawson