John called on people to be baptized to express their desire for God to cleanse them of their sin and make them ready for his presence among them.
Jesus is greater than John because he is able to baptize people with the Spirit and fire. Essentially this means that Jesus can renew and purify us. In other words, he can regenerate us with new natures that are inclined to God.
When God, surprisingly, appears ‘in the flesh’, we learn that he is Jesus. Jesus is baptized. This is strange because Jesus has no sin to confess or repent of. Jesus is baptized for an entirely different reason – in order to identify himself with sinners. It is for this reason that he came into the world. At the cross he will take on the sin of sinners in order to absorb their punishment as their representative. Jesus’ baptism prefigures the cross.
The three persons of the trinity are evident as the Son prays and the Father responds declaring Jesus to be both king and suffering servant – an obedient son in whom he is pleased. The Spirit then descends in bodily form like a dove. The Spirit’s descent empowers Jesus’ ministry. The form of a dove has connotations of gentleness and new creation.
For Christians, being baptized is an outward action that when accompanied with God’s Word expressed our union with Jesus, our cleansing from sin and our renewal by the Spirit of God. The Bible expects all Christians will be baptized. If this is something you haven’t done but would like to then please contact us.