by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Why Was Jesus Baptized? (2 of 4)
Series: 3:16 and Jesus
Jeff Strite
Matthew 3:1-17

OPEN: A woman once took her 4-year-old daughter to a baptismal service at her church. Later that night, her daughter took all of her dolls into the bathtub with her and held her own ''baptism.'' As she dunked each doll under the water, she repeated, ''Now I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and hold your nose.''

APPLY: That little girl had observed a baptismal service but she was really too young to know what was going on. She simply knew people got dunked and that the preacher had recited something about the Father and the Son, etc.. But she didn't quite understand what was going on, or why the preacher had said what he said.

I. John the Baptist had sent by God for two specific purposes
1st He had been sent to preach ''a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins'' Luke 3:3
AND 2nd, he had been sent to ''go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him'' Luke 1:76

Those wouldn't have seemed to be difficult missions for John to understand. For 6 months or more, John had been preaching persuasive messages condemning sin and calling for repentance. People came in droves to hear his powerful sermons and were baptized by him in the Jordan.

But then along comes Jesus - along comes ''the Lord'' he was to prepare the way for - and suddenly John seems confused. Jesus requests to be baptized by John, ''But John tried to deter him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?''' Matthew 3:14

This wasn't what John had expected. This wasn't in accordance with the instructions he thought he'd been given. He's almost incredulous ''What do you mean baptize you. You should be baptizing me!''

But Jesus responds ''Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.'' Matthew 3:15
In other words, Jesus is telling John: ''This is what you were sent to do. This is the fulfillment of your mission.''

There wa ...

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