Monday, January 4, 2010

John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus

Matthew 3:1317; Mark 1:911; Luke 3:2123; Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:4446
And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. Mark 1:9

When Jesus was about 30 years old, He came from Nazareth to the river Jordan and was baptized by John the Baptist (see Matthew 3:13; Mark 1:9; Luke 3:23). John knew that Jesus had not sinned, so he did not think Jesus needed to be baptized. Instead, John felt that Jesus should baptize him. Jesus explained to John that even the Savior of the world must be baptized. (See Matthew 3:1415.)

"And John went down into the water and baptized [Jesus].

"And Jesus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and John saw ... the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus.

"And lo, he heard a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him" (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:4446).


Jesus came to John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan River. John knew that Jesus was without sin, and so he thought Jesus did not need baptism. When Jesus explained that even the Savior must be baptized, John went down into the water and baptized Him. When Jesus came out of the water, John saw the Holy Ghost come to the Savior and heard Heavenly Father's voice bearing witness of His Beloved Son.

Artist, Harry Anderson

© 2002 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA

MY Word: There is much Doctrine to be learned from this event. Ponder these questions: Christ is the Son of God, he is Jehovah, he directs the Prophets...why then would He need to be baptized? Why would he come to John? What sort of baptism was it? (Apparently the music link is not working so here are the words to the song "Baptism" pg. 100 in the Children's Songbook...if you want to go to and listen to it there.) Jesus came to John the Baptist, In Judea long ago, And was baptized by immersion In the River Jordan's flow. "To fulfill the law," said Jesus, When the Baptist questioned why, "And to enter with my Father In the kingdom up on high." Now we know that we must also Witness faith in Jesus' word Be baptized to show obedience, As was Jesus Christ, or Lord.Who was present at His baptism? Try "When Jesus Christ was Baptized" pg. 102. When Jesus Christ was baptized Down in the River Jordan, Three members of the Godhead Were present there in love. The Father spoke from heaven When Jesus Christ was baptized; The Holy Ghost descended As gently as a dove. And now when I am baptized, I'll follow his example --- Be baptized by immersion Through sacred priesthood pow'r. Then I will be a member Of Heav'nly Father's kingdom And have the Holy Spirit To guide me ev'ry hour. From very simple Primary songs, that we begin learning at 3 years of age, we learn so much. Let's see if we have the answers to the questions. John feels reluctant to baptize the Savior of the world but Jesus reassures John and said He would be baptized "to fulfill the law". What law? (I'll come back to that in a minute.) Jesus was baptized by immersion. Why baptism by immersion? Look for the symbolism here. Why come to John for this ordinance? John was the one holding the proper Priesthood authority to baptize. And finally who was present: We call these Three the Godhead. Article of Faith #1 Latter-day Saint doctrine teaches that these three are individual persons and personage. God the Father and Jesus Christ have resurrected, perfected bodies. The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit...meaning there is form but not physical. What evidence do we have that this is true doctrine?....Read about Jesus' baptism. Jesus is standing in the water with John, the Father's voice is heard from heaven and the Holy Ghost is present therefore the sign of the dove is given.

Back to that law question. One of our Sacrament songs has this phrase: "the law was broken; Jesus died That justice might be satisfied"

~That got me to thinking....what law was broken? What law of Heavenly Father's needed to be "fixed" by the death of His Son? This law is considered the "First Law of Heaven" is my opinion that that is what was broken. Who broke it and when was it broken?

What have you learned about baptism (it's in one of the above links). Why do we all need this ordinance. Millions of people have never had an opportunity to receive this ordinance, what about them are they exempt? They have been taken into consideration by a loving Heavenly Father and arrangements for them are made here.

If you have questions please comment or go to and do some searching. Gospel Principles is a great place to start. This is actually the manual that will be used this year in Priesthood and Relief Society.

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