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MATTHEW - Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Matthew
PART 1 - The Preliminary Period in the Ministry of Christ (Matthew 1:1 - 4:25)
B - John the Baptist Prepares the Way of Christ (Matthew 3:1 - 4:11)

2. The Baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:13-15)

MATTHEW 3:13-15
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John would have hindered him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and you come to me?” 15 But Jesus, answering, said to him, “Allow it now, for this is the fitting way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.
(See Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23; John 1:21-23)

John the Baptist gathered the repentant, who were like fields cultivated for the planting of the oncoming gospel, in the Jordan Valley. The broken-hearted were chosen by God to be the beginnings of his church. The history of the community of God did not begin in a grandiose temple, but in the deserted wilderness.

Suddenly, Jesus arrives from Nazareth after two days of walking, and joins John and the community of repentant. It becomes evident from the first moment of their meeting that John is a true prophet, because he knew Jesus in his essence. The majority of people do not know Jesus son of Mary, but those with eyes anointed with the Holy Spirit observed Jesus and the power of his Spirit.

Jesus came to be baptized, but the Baptist, who was calling every sinner to baptism and brokenness, objected to baptize the Nazarene, because he observed his holiness. He admitted aloud: Jesus is the only man who need not cleanse himself, nor change his mind, nor is required to begin a new life since he is without sin. Jesus is the Most Holy, and the Most Holy is God himself. John acknowledged the divinity of Jesus from the first moment he met him.

In the presence of Christ, John recognized his inferiority, his own sins, and the necessity to be baptized himself, so he asked Jesus to baptize him. Thus the Baptist was broken before his Lord and committed himself to him. With humility, he committed his followers to Christ.

Christ objected to the ideas of the Baptist and explained to him that he did not come to judge but to be judged in the place of all men. Therefore Christ did not appear from the beginning of his ministry as a proud king or a warning prophet, but as the meek Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, prepared to bear the judgment of God in our place.

Jesus did not remain in heaven high and lofty, separated and out of touch from sinners. He came down to the water of repentance and took away our sins. Jesus made his first step to the cross from the first day of his ministry, knowing that there was no other way to justify us and to save the world. Through Jesus' tremendous sacrifice, God confirmed his righteousness and justice. Though he justifies sinners freely, he completed our judgment on the cross of his only begotten Son. Only in Christ are all the demands of God’s righteousness fulfilled.

John was obedient to his Lord and showed repentance by his submission. He went down into the water with Jesus and immersed him. Christ offered John to partake in the will of God when he said to him, "thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Christ honored the Baptist considerably for his faithfulness and employed him as an assistant to fulfill God’s righteousness.

And you too, dear reader, are invited by the Lord to participate in spreading the divine salvation through your faith and through your testimony, offer his righteousness to those who thirst in your surroundings.

Christ’s baptism in the Jordan discovered its symbolic meaning in the cross—when the Crucified One sank in the water of the Jordan, taking on himself the sin of the world and dying in the flood of God’s wrath. With his victorious coming up out of the water being symbolic of his resurrection from the dead.

Thus the meaning of John’s baptism changed. It is not only a judgment, it is the way determined by God to everlasting life. Yet Christ wants to give us his life.

PRAYER: I worship you, Holy Lamb of God, because you took away the sins of the world. You bore the judgment of God that we deserved. Please open my eyes to your great love and salvation, that I may be justified and truly partake of your righteousness. Help me to confess your name that many of my friends may be justified, for I do not know any other righteousness but that which is in you.


  1. Why was Jesus baptized at the Jordan though he was innocent?


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