GOING DOWN TO THE RIVER
HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT.
He didn't want to do it. John, that is. John did not want to baptize Jesus. In fact, the original text states John forbade him. Matthew 3:14
In the Greek it is G1254 diakoluo - to hinder altogether, that is, utterly prohibit.
Then John explained himself by saying "I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" Eugene Peterson's The Message puts it this way: John objected, "I'm the one who needs to be baptized, not you!"
Jesus answered in verse 15, "Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.
BUT JESUS SAID, "DO IT".
Here is verse 15 in The Message:
But Jesus insisted: "Do it. God's work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism." So John did it.
The NLT New Living Testament:
But Jesus said, "It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires."
THEN WHAT HAPPENED?
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he (John) 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. Matthew 3:16-17
Jesus was without sin. Why did He need to come? Because He who had no sin took His place beside those who did. He went down into those waters identifying Himself with the ones who needed Him. That, my friend, would be you and me. We ALL need him. Jesus is the remedy for our sin.
The Baptist preached that Jesus could establish the Kingdom of God.
Now Jesus could begin his public ministry.
No more quiet years of living. No more seclusion.
Now as King He can teach and preach about the Kingdom.
He was committed to His Father's method to save men and women.
A DECREE FROM HEAVEN
When the Spirit of God descended as a dove and was upon Him, the Voice came from Heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased".
Those quiet years?
God was putting His stamp of approval on Jesus. A perfect past.
Did anyone hear this besides Jesus and John? Probably not. It was enough.
As a United Methodist Local Pastor I loved Baptism Sundays. I would take a large brown pottery bowl and pitcher from home. Do you know what was the very most wonderful part? The Holy Spirit was there. I guarantee you He was there. Not because of me but because of the ones in the Baptism ceremony. It was a joy to be able to carry a baby up and down the aisle and tell the congregation . . welcome your new member . . . or, to present teens after confirmation or adults after baptism to the church family.
When I was in Local Pastor school during one of the classes we were talking about baptism. One of the other students stated: "The only thing that happens to that kid getting baptized is that he gets his head wet!" I loudly protested, letting them know the Holy Spirit indeed was there whether they knew it or not. That is a wonderful thing.
We also held a "Remember Your Baptism Service" every year. The congregation would come up the aisle and dip their fingers in the water and then do with it what they wanted . . touch their forehead or put a few drops on top of their head, etc.
Here is a link to give you more information if you so desire. http://Umc.org about baptism.
Scroll down to FAQ with a red background, then choose Sacrament / More and you will find several articles on baptism.
This is the music we would play on the day of "Remember Your Baptism".
Don't you love the voice of Alison Krauss?