Baptism of Jesus - Bible Story

The Baptism of Jesus in the Bible

The baptism of Jesus is recorded in the Gospel Bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In this story, we see that Jesus approaches John and asks to be baptized. John has been proclaiming the Gospel and baptizing those who repent of their sin, want to make right their relationship with God, and await the coming Messiah. John is astonished that Jesus, the sinless Son of God, is asking to be baptized and John feels like he should be the one asking Jesus to baptize him! 

In all three accounts, the baptism was a crucial first step Jesus took as he began his ministry, an approximately three-year journey that would eventually lead him to the cross. According to Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was 30 years old when he was baptized.

Jesus tells John that His baptism is "fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness". Jesus is baptized as a symbol of giving His will up to His Father and the beginning of His earthly ministry. God affirmed Jesus' baptism in a powerful way as recorded in Matthew's Gospel. As soon as Jesus was baptized and came up out of the water, the heavens opened.  John sees the Spirit of God descending like a dove upon Jesus and they hear God's voice from heaven say "This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved." The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus following his baptism. This was a sign that Jesus' ministry was empowered by the Spirit and would usher in peace between humankind and God. As Jesus rose from the water, God the Father spoke monumental words about who Jesus was, which left no question that Jesus was indeed the anticipated Messiah and beloved Son of God.

Jesus didn’t need to repent or turn from sin, rather, his baptism served as a sign to John, and future generations of believers, that he was the Messiah. With this confirmation in place, John's mission to prepare the way for the Messiah was complete. 

Jesus' baptism account is a beautiful portrayal of the loving union of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Spirit. This moment in his life marked the beginning of his ministry in which he was partaking in the human experience fully as the spotless lamb of God sent to save the world.

Bible Verses about Baptism in Jesus Christ

"And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." ~ Acts 2:38

"Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" ~ 1 Peter 3:21

"Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." ~ John 3:5

"We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life." ~ Romans 6:4

"For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit." ~ 1 Corinthians 12:13

Read the Bible verses detailing the baptism of Jesus and study the meaning and purpose behind this Scripture using the related articles and video below.

Matthew 3

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea
2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 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 alighting on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:1-11

1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God,
2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” —
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.
8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:1-11 Commentaries

Luke 3:21-38

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,
24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melki, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,
26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
28 the son of Melki, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,
34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,
36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Kenan,
38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

John 1:30-51

30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’
31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples.
36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.
41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter ).
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida.
45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believebecause I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”
51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,youwill see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’the Son of Man.”

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