In Matthew 3:13-17, Jesus’ baptism is both explained and takes place. In v. 14, John says that he needs to be baptized by Jesus instead of the other way around. “Righteousness” is used as the righteousness of life through obedience to divine will. Jesus acknowledges the standard of righteousness as valid and afﬁrms the fact that He must establish it as the will of God.
Furthermore, John’s baptism was a commandment of God. Had Jesus neglected or refused to obey this command He would have lacked a portion of righteousness, and the Pharisees would have quickly exploited it. Baptism was the divinely appointed method by which the Messiahship of Jesus was to be revealed to John (John 1:33-34).