The Model Baptism
Jesus was not baptized because He needed cleansing from sin, for He was
sinless (1 Peter 2:22). This is why John the Baptist was so perplexed when
Jesus came to the Jordan River, asking to be baptized by him. John said, "I
have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" Matthew 3:14.
So why was Jesus baptized? There are three main reasons. First, He was
baptized in behalf of those who cannot be baptized themselves. Sometimes
when people accept the Lord in prison or in a hospital, circumstances do not
allow them to be baptized. Jesus gives them credit for His baptism. The thief
on the cross was one example (Luke 23:43). Second, Jesus was baptized as an
example, that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). And third, Jesus
was baptized so we can, by studying His experience, know what to expect
To illustrate, let's take the following verses word by word and see what we
can expect from our baptism. Matthew 3:16 and 17 reads: "And Jesus, when
he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens
were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove,
and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
"The heavens were opened" = We receive access to God.
"He saw" = Our spiritual eyes are now opened, giving us
new understanding and perception.
"The Spirit of God" = We recognize His leading.
"Descending like a dove" = Peace gently enters our hearts.
"A voice from heaven" = We will begin to hear that still, small voice.
"My beloved son" = We are adopted into His royal family and
become citizens of a different country.
"I am well pleased" = God gives us complete acceptance and