And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.…
It is not possible for us to understand the whole mystery of this act, but we may reverently consider some of the motives which prompted the amazing condescension.
1. It may have been to consecrate water for the remission of sins. Just as the brooding of the Spirit of God upon the face of the waters at the first creation reduced order out of chaos, and prepared that element for all the purifications of the first dispensation; so when the moral re-creation of the world was inaugurated the operation of the same Blessed Agent, descending upon our Lord in the river Jordan, sanctified water to the mystical washing away of sin.
2. It may also have been that He designed thereby to be made one with His brethren, or to taste for their sakes at the outset of His ministry that curse of sin which He felt in all its intolerable burden at the close, before His cry of desolation.
3. Another motive He has expressly revealed. When the Baptist shrank back from an act that must have seemed profane, He pointed out that it was incumbent on Him to show an example of perfect obedience to His Father's will.
4. Underlying this resolution of obedience was the consciousness of a deep humiliation. His self-abasement reached its lowest depth in His baptism. To be misinterpreted and misunderstood at every step was bad enough; but to be told that by His own confession He was a sinner, one with publicans and harlots, and that by His own act and deed He admitted His guilt and sought to have it removed — such self-abasement is more than man can either measure or conceive.
(H. M. Luckock, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.