Jesus never asks us to do what He would never do. Many kings would never ever do what they ask their subjects to do. Yet Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of lords, demonstrated by His life in general and His baptism in particular that He is humble and obedient to His own laws as a human being. Let us consider a few points.
(1) You may remember the story of Naaman the leper. He was the captain of the host of the king of Syria. He was told by Elisha to dip seven times in the river Jordan and he would come out healed. Naaman took this as an insult. He said:
“Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage” (2 Kings 5:12).He implied that the Jordan river was dirty in comparison to the rivers of Syria. Eventually, after his servants coaxed him, he did as Elisha said and after he had dipped the seventh time “his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (See 1 Kings 5:14)
(2) Jesus came to this world as a baby and when He was thirty years He went to John to be baptized although He was not a sinner. Can you guess where He got baptized? You guessed it – in the same Jordan river that Naaman had scorned to dip in. The King of Kings was immersed, a river apparently so dirty that Naaman the leper felt he was too clean to dip in!
(3) Let us not forget that getting baptized is a sign that you are leaving behind your past life of sin. Jesus had no sins to confess or forsake yet He wanted to leave us an example so He got baptized. This certainly confused John the Baptist. We are told in Matt. 13,14:
“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?”
Jesus simply replied that John should allow it and He was then baptized. In the eyes of some Jesus could have been branded as a sinner since He went to be baptizsed but He knew it was more important to leave us that example for we are told in Mark 16:16:
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
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