Mat 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. (14) John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (15) But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. (16) And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; (17) and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Mar 1:9-11 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. (10) And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (11) And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Luk 3:21-23 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, (22) and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (23) Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,
When all the people were being baptized, in those days Jesus came from the obscure town of Nazareth to be baptized by John. John would have prevented him, thinking, Jesus is greater than me, He is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. I should be baptized by Him. But Jesus convinced him that it needed to be done this way to fulfill all righteousness. The beauty of our trinitarian God breaks through at this point as heaven itself is torn open. As Jesus comes up from the water the Spirit of God descends upon him like a dove and God the Father speaks from heaven saying “this is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.”
John adds his testimony Joh 1:15-18 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) (16) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (17) For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (18) No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
This act of humble obedience is fulfilling the righteousness that will be required of us. He is sinless and needs no repentance. But he will bear our sin and grant his righteousness. This righteousness needed to be complete. This act is picturing his own death and resurrection, the act by which he will take our sin and grant his righteousness. Thus it points also to the Christian meaning of baptism. This act has given the Old Testament representative, this priestly prophet, the opportunity to point past the old covenant made through Moses to the new covenant of God’s grace through Jesus the Christ. Lastly this act has given God the Father and Spirit the opportunity to make Jesus known as the one who can authoritatively make God known to us.
Let us hear the testimony of God and of the law and the prophets and come humbly, then, into the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that we might be led by him into a reconciled relationship with our God.