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.