Baptism: Jesus and John the Baptist
The Forms of Baptism used by Jesus, and John the Baptist
John the Baptist Continues His Testimony for Jesus.
John the Baptist:
John the Baptist's calling was one that all the other prophets looked forward to, and no doubt would have loved to see. His calling was not to perform miracles, such as Elijah and some of the others, nor did he have a fancy lifestyle
Instead, his calling was to prepare the way for, and to introduce the Messiah. Everything he did pointed to Jesus. Moreover, the people believed him, even in "John 11:41" people, wondering if Jesus was for real, were saying, "but John said."
Isaiah 40:3 prophesied that he would be "A voice of one calling in the desert prepare the way for the LORD"
"Malachi 1" refers to "John the Baptist" as "the direct announcer of God."
Verse 22: "After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing."
Even though this verse says Jesus was baptizing, other Scriptures tell us His disciples were the ones who did the baptizing.
Verse 23-24: "John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24(for John had not yet been put in prison)."
The root word for baptism is "baptisma "consisting of the process of immersion, submersion and emergence from."
Baptism by John the Baptist:
The Jewish people practiced ceremonial washing, and according to history, a few hundred years preceding Christ, some unofficially began practicing what has been referred to as, "a once for all ceremonial washing," which was total "immersion" in water.
John's baptism was for repentance of sin, and as a sign of total commitment to their soon to be new life in the Messiah, (Christ). It was to show that everyone has to come to God on the same terms.
Baptism by Jesus:
Jesus had not yet been crucified, and the spirit not yet given: so this was a water baptism, not a Spiritual.
Most Scholars agree that the type of baptism Jesus did was the same, and in fact a continuation of John the Baptist's, for repentance of sins, and a pledge of total allegiance to the Messiah.
Jesus is Baptised:
The Gospel of John does not record the actual baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, but it was in the Synoptic Gospels, (Matt 3:13-17); (Mark 1:9-11); (Luke 21-23).
John the Baptist was at first reluctant, saying that he did not consider himself worthy to baptize Jesus; also, John's baptism was for the repentance of sin, and Jesus had no sin.
Many, in that time, believed that the Spirit either was no longer available, or was not as forceful as in the days of the prophets. The Spirit coming upon Jesus is seen by many as the inauguration of the Messianic era, "Jesus the Messiah."
Verse's 25-26: "An argument developed between some of John's disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing."
We are not told the basis of the argument between John the Baptist's disciples, and "a certain Jew." However, the matter of purification is found throughout the Gospel of John.
In John 2:6-7, Jesus turned the water that in the purification containers into wine.
Jacobs Well, (in Chapter 4)
The healing waters of Bethesda, in Chapter 5
The Siloam's water for the Feast of Tabernacles in Chapter 7; in varying ways, refer to ceremonial washing.
Verse 26: "They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him."
John's disciples seemed to be upset, possibly envious of the fact that Jesus' disciples were baptizing, and that all the people were going to Him.
Verse 27: "To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven."
John States the fact that man can only receive what God has given him; and, in the next verse, reminds his disciples that he had already said, "I am not the Christ."
Verse 28: "You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him."
According to Jewish Law, a person who represents another acts on his sender's authority. The real authority is in the sender. John the Baptist says "he was sent."
He was sent by God, and his duty was to prepare the way for the Messiah, (Jesus).
Verse 29: "The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete".
The bride is the Church; the bridegroom is Jesus.
John tells his disciples that He is not the bridegroom, only "the" friend of the bridegroom. In Jewish custom, the "friend of the bridegroom" was much like the best man in weddings today.
Note: The bible often refers to Jesus as the husband of the church. Here Jesus refers to himself as the bridegroom, and the Church as the bride, (a relationship established by God).
Verse 30: "He must become greater; I must become less."
By John saying, He must increase, I must decrease, shows that he clearly understood that God's purpose for his life was to introduce Jesus.
Verse 31: "The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all."
Here John refers to Jesus as, "The One." John chapter 1 refers to Jesus as,” The Word." These are the closest terms available in the Jewish language to describe Jesus.
John the Baptist was saying, the difference between Jesus and himself, was that:
"Jesus is from Heaven, He is the Son of God, and above all.”
"Both of my parents were of natural birth."
Verse 33-34: "The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit."
According to bible background studies, many in the Old Testament days thought that only a few had merited, or earned the Spirit.
In verse 34, John testifies that Jesus is Deity, and has the "Spirit" without measure. To say that someone had "the Spirit without limit," is to indicate that Jesus is greater than any person who ever lived.
Verse 35: "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands."
By placing "everything in His hands," places Jesus higher than any human in Scripture. He was man and He was God. Jesus came with a purpose, and fulfilled it!
John sums up His Testimony:
Verse 36: "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
This concludes our study of John 3:22-36, "Baptism - John the Baptist and Jesus."
Our next study is a two-part study.
Click below for (part 1) of:
"The Woman at the Well-Part 1"
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More on Baptism:
Babies are not submersed, but are usually sprinkled, symbolizing a type of dedication of the baby to God. This is a symbol of commitment on the part of the parents, to rear their child to serve the Lord. It is not a part of the plan of salvation, and will not get the baby into Heaven.
The new Believer is baptized in water, in the name of the Father, son, and Holy Ghost.
By, or into, the Holy Spirit:
Acts 2 records a Spiritual baptism with tongues of fire that occurred on the day of Pentecost. This is what Jesus was speaking of in Luke 24:49 where He directed his disciples to tarry, (wait) until they were endowed with power. (before beginning their ministry):
"And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high..."
Samuel L. Mills