Recently, we were at a baptism class for my son. The teacher said that the Holy Spirit came when Jesus was baptized, but I thought it came at Pentecost. :shrug: Can someone please clarify for me?
The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus at Jesus baptism.
The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles on Pentecost, and gave the Apostles the gift of Baptizing others with the Holy Spirit -the whole church descended until this day!
In the Gospel, when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on him in the form of a dove:
Matthew 3:16 After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened [for him], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove [and] coming upon him.
But, yes, the Holy Spirit definitely came upon the apostles at Pentecost. So you are both right.
So…did the Holy Spirit just descend upon Jesus at that time and then the church later? What about all of the other people John was baptizing? And why did Jesus himself need to be baptized if he was without original sin?
Jesus did not need to be baptized in the way that we do. The way I have heard it put is that, in being baptized, Jesus sanctified the water rather than the other way around. This, then, sort of “opened the door” for us in turn to be sanctified by the waters of Baptism.
The Holy Spirit descending on Pentecost is really more comparable to the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Jesus and the Spirit (and the Father) are all Persons of the One Trinity. So there isn’t really a “before” moment where Jesus would have not had the Holy Spirit with Him.
John’s baptism was not a valid Christian Baptism, and did not impart Sanctyfing Grace. When Paul encountered a group of men who had received only John’s baptism he administered Christian Baptism to them:
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”
They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. [Acts 19:1-4]
It was both. When Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit descended upon him. This symbolized the Holy Trinity with the voice of the Father, Jesus the Son, and the dove as the Holy Spirit. It also possibly symbolized Confirmation since the Holy Spirit remained with Jesus throughout the Gospels. Once Jesus was resurrected he sent back the Holy Spirit to be in us. See before Jesus came God the Holy Spirit was here on earth helping people but not residing in people. After Jesus have the greatest sacrifice the Holy Spirit could then on be in us.