Baptism of Jesus


If Jesus was born without original sin, and the purpose of baptism is for the remission of sins, then why was Jesus baptized?


Jesus had to practice what he preached. :smiley:


The Baptism of John was not a sacrament it did not have as it’s purpose to forgive original sin. John’s baptism was for the purpose of repentance as well as a desire to be spiritually cleansed. Although sinless, Jesus chose to be baptized in order to identify Himself with humanity.


There’s a line in the Nicene Creed that says, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins”.

In Matthew, chapter 3, verses 14-15, it is written, “John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.”

Something to think about, don’t you think?

As it is written, “My Ways are not your ways and My Thoughts are not your thoughts”.


If everyone’s sin was released by the waters…then Jesus Himself went into the water to take on our sins.


Practically: Jesus sanctified the waters for the Sacrament of Baptism.
Logically: He submitted to John’s baptism so that the Pharisees, who refused it, would then paint themselves into a theological corner.


Jesus was likely an Essene Jew who underwent a daily ritual purification bath in what is known as a Mikveh.

Immersion in a mikveh, whether a formal bath or river, was a sign of radical change, purification and conversion to God. The Jewish ritual purification was elevated to a sacrament through Jesus’ participation.

Jews still practice immersion in the mikveh today.

Remember that the Gospels were written in Greek. The word baptism comes from the Greek word baptisma which was a term for the ritual washing of the Hellenistic Jews. It refers directly to the mikveh purification/conversion bath. The mikveh described in the Gospels was the baptisma for repentance.

I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matthew 3:11)

Essene Jews underwent this ritual purification bath every morning indicating daily repentance - what we would call ongoing conversion.

Here is a picture of an ancient mikveh bath. It was preferred to do it in a river or other source of flowing water but there were many man made mikveh’s in Israel at the time of Jesus.



No Clare, this isn’t right. Jesus took our sins on the Cross, not at his baptism.

The sin of humanity was not taken on by Jesus through the water of the Jordan river but through the sacrifice on the Cross.



The whole Incarnation of God was directed at the Salvation of humanity, just as some are blind to the fact that there was more going on at the cross than Jesus’s physical death, there are those who are blind to the “fact/s” that many things in Jesus’s Incarnation, THE WHOLE SUM OF GOD’S INCARNATION, that spoke volumns even if some are deaf and/or blind to it.

As one of the creeds say, “ONE BAPTISM FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS”.


To be honest, I thought some would take issue with it, but I was just at a RCIA Leadership conference, and the presenters asserted this one way to explain Baptism.
I thought it was an interesting perspective, and worth pondering.
Your point is well taken though.


I like this answer. Good job Tim in knowing about our Lord the ways of the Chosen People back then. I have had interest lately in finding out more about Jewish life back then.


As with all acts of God, much remains a mystery to mankind. This from the catechism may help:

535 Jesus’ public life begins with his baptism by John in the Jordan.228 John preaches “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”.229 A crowd of sinners230 - tax collectors and soldiers, Pharisees and Sadducees, and prostitutes- come to be baptized by him. “Then Jesus appears.” The Baptist hesitates, but Jesus insists and receives baptism. Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, "This is my beloved Son."231 This is the manifestation (“Epiphany”) of Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Son of God.

536 The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God’s suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.232 Already he is anticipating the “baptism” of his bloody death.233 Already he is coming to “fulfill all righteousness”, that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father’s will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins.234 The Father’s voice responds to the Son’s acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son.235 The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to “rest on him”.236 Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism "the heavens were opened"237 - the heavens that Adam’s sin had closed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.

608 After agreeing to baptize him along with the sinners, John the Baptist looked at Jesus and pointed him out as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.422 By doing so, he reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover.423 Christ’s whole life expresses his mission: “to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

1223 All the Old Covenant prefigurations find their fulfillment in Christ Jesus. He begins his public life after having himself baptized by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan.17 After his resurrection Christ gives this mission to his apostles: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."18

1224 Our Lord voluntarily submitted himself to the baptism of St. John, intended for sinners, in order to "fulfill all righteousness."19 Jesus’ gesture is a manifestation of his self-emptying.20 The Spirit who had hovered over the waters of the first creation descended then on the Christ as a prelude of the new creation, and the Father revealed Jesus as his "beloved Son."21

1225 In his Passover Christ opened to all men the fountain of Baptism. He had already spoken of his Passion, which he was about to suffer in Jerusalem, as a “Baptism” with which he had to be baptized.22 The blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Jesus are types of Baptism and the Eucharist, the sacraments of new life.23 From then on, it is possible "to be born of water and the Spirit"24 in order to enter the Kingdom of God.

1286 In the Old Testament the prophets announced that the Spirit of the Lord would rest on the hoped-for Messiah for his saving mission.91 The descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism by John was the sign that this was he who was to come, the Messiah, the Son of God.92 He was conceived of the Holy Spirit; his whole life and his whole mission are carried out in total communion with the Holy Spirit whom the Father gives him “without measure.”


Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., fairly well known around here, teaches that the “upper room” was in the Essene section of Jerusalem. The Essenes were primarily celibate men, thus the “man carrying a water jar” in an age and culture when women carried the water, i.e. the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4.

And the Mikveh is also the ritual washing that women underwent after childbirth to ritually purify themselves according to the law of Leviticus 12. Fr. Pacwa also teaches that Mary underwent this washing.


=Cone;12377317]If Jesus was born without original sin, and the purpose of baptism is for the remission of sins, then why was Jesus baptized?

BAPTISM for humanity is for the forgiveness of sin committed BEFORE Sacramental Baptism.

Jesus CHOOSE to be baptized Mt. 3:13-17 to make the POINT that it is a conditional mandate for humanities salvation. John 3:5:thumbsup:

It is meant as a Teaching Moment:)


As far as “It is meant as a Teaching Moment”.

This “Teaching Moment” just might end up being to teach us that we do NOT know everything about God and God’s Plan for our Salvation, even tho some seem to think that they do.


The Messiah was long awaited in Israel. For more than a thousand years. At His baptism, He was identified audibly by the Father and visibly by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah. The Word of God came to John in the desert and sent him to baptize. Thus, John is considered to be the last prophet of the Old Testament. John called all human flesh to be baptized, and so, in accordance with His brother prophet, Jesus submitted to water baptism. From that submission, all salvation flowed up to the cross.

As well, He could not challenge the Pharisees and Sadducees regarding John’s baptism if He Himself had not submitted to it.


=Tom Baum;12386323]As far as “It is meant as a Teaching Moment”.

This “Teaching Moment” just might end up being to teach us that we do NOT know everything about God and God’s Plan for our Salvation, even tho some seem to think that they do.

Hi Tom:)

That’s a nice thought but how is what I shared anything but the truth?:shrug:

I certainly do not claim to know “everything”, however as a trained and certified Marian Catechist, I am able to share what the RCC teaches on this subject.

God Bless you,



He addressed that objection when John the Baptist objected to baptizing hem.


Jesus being baptised made the water Holy.


Jesus was baptized to set a good example for others, even though he personally didn’t need it.

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