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  The Great Bible Story #91
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Jesus gets baptised

Jacob Ninan
John the son of Zacharias came out of the desert where he had been for some time, proclaiming that people everywhere should repent from their sins because the kingdom of God was near. All types of people began to come to him, and he baptised them in the River Jordan as a sign of their repentance. John announced that he was only baptising them with water, but Someone was coming who would baptise them in the Holy Spirit and fire. That would be the Messiah, the Son of God. John said that he did not consider himself to be worthy even to untie the sandals from His feet. When he saw some Pharisees coming for baptism, who were a group of religious people who took pride in defining the tiny details of the Law, he told them they should repent first and show some proof of their repentance before he would baptise them.

Then Jesus came and asked John to baptise Him in water. When John saw Him he declared that this was the Lamb of God who was going to take away the sins of the world. John was unwilling at first to baptise Jesus because he did not see any need for Jesus to take this baptism of repentance, and also he felt that it should be Jesus who baptised him! But Jesus replied that it was necessary for Him to do everything right. Since He had come to identify with man and to be a Forerunner for man, He wanted to submit Himself to baptism too.

So John agreed, and baptised Jesus in the water. As He was immersed into the water and brought out afterwards, everyone heard the voice of God the Father declaring from heaven that this was His beloved Son with whom He was thoroughly pleased. People watching Him saw the Holy Spirit coming down from the sky in the form of a dove and resting on Jesus' head. All the three Persons of the Trinity were obvious at this time.

The word baptism is taken from the Greek word 'baptisma' which means immersion. The way it was done was to fully immerse a person under water and then to bring him out. The fact that Jesus Himself went through it for us and instructed His disciples to baptise people who believed in Him later makes it important for us to follow. The baptism of repentance which was started with John the baptiser was later replaced with the baptism of Christ which represents for those who have been born again a burial of the old life and a coming up into a resurrected life. This is meaningful only for those who have repented consciously from their sin and placed their trust in Jesus for salvation, and who want to testify to this openly.


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