Baptism of the Lord: meaning

English: Baptism of JesusMatthew 3: 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” 15 Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened (for him), and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove (and) coming upon him. 17 And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The First Temptation of Christ. Brian Stoffregen has an interesting insight about righteousness as “do, perform” what God requires of us.

John, by trying to prevent the baptism, tempts Jesus not to do all that God requires of him. He tempts Jesus to assume his proper position now: to be the more powerful one; to baptize with the judgmental Holy Spirit and fire; to meet John’s need. I don’t think that these are too dissimilar to the devil’s temptations that occur immediately after the baptism (4:1-11) — temptations for Jesus to use his power now, for his own glory; and avoid his emptying and eventually the pain and suffering of the cross.

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