Why did John baptise Jesus...wasn't he holy already?


As per above. I’m trying to understand why Jesus would need baptism.



That is an interesting situation…

Do you recall the event? John is going through the same thoughts… ‘it is You that should Baptize me’

…Jesus corrects him as He tells him: ‘we must abide by the Command.’

(I’ve paraphrased, of course.)

Jesus as the Lamb of God must submit to the Father’s Command… part of the Salvific Plan is that there be a precursor to Yahweh God’s Coming to the Temple… and that he, the precursor, must make ready the path and the people to receive the Messiah…

St. John’s Baptism is only that of water (for preparation)… Jesus, as a son of Israel, would submit to John’s Baptism as He was born under the Law to bring the Law into Fulfillment.

Had Jesus accepted John’s suggestion, the Pharisees, Sadducees and other religious would point to his failure to receive the Baptism of John… in effect they would use the Word of God to reject Jesus.

Yet, since Jesus submitted Himself to the Father’s Command, He was able to chastise Israel for her unbelief and disobedience!

Maran atha!



I see so it was part of all the Jewish rituals he had to go through as a Jewish man? Thank you.

I didn’t realise baptism was part of the Jewish faith.



…born under the Law does not means limited to what was known till that moment…

Do you recall Jesus query about John the Baptist?.. they came to Him to see how to dismantle Him… and they demanded to know with what (Whose) Authority did He Come (remember Jesus was not part of the religious body… yet, in His Ministry He was recognized as Rabbi… at one time Rabboni… when accosted with their empty query (they did not seek knowledge and understanding to serve God; rather they sought to silence Him) Jesus turned the tables on them and demanded: ‘by whose authority did John came Baptizing, was it man’s or God’s?’

In Malachi we have the prophecy of the Coming of Yahweh God to His Temple… He will be preceded by ‘the voice that calls out in the desert.’ John the Baptist is Called by God to prepare the Coming of the Messiah… he is to warn people of God’s impending arrival; he is to bring back the people of Israel to God, Baptizing them in water for the forgiveness of sin… being a type of Christ’s Baptism which will include Baptism in water and in Fire (the Holy Spirit).

Many who heard John paid heed to his words but the religious refused to accept God’s Revelation as they rejected John’s Baptism:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]31 Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of justice, and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

(St. Matthew 21:31-32)

29 And all the people hearing, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with John’s baptism. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers despised the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized by him. (St. Luke 7:29-30)
The practice may not have been that of the Mosaic codes but it was Commanded by Yahweh God.

Maran atha!




“Had to”? No. Chose to? Yes.

There were a variety of cleansing rituals that are found in Judaism in the 1st century in Palestine. Think back to the wedding in Cana. What were the six big jugs of water there for? :wink:

“Baptism” isn’t a Jewish sacrament; but cleansing rituals were common.


Thank you JCrighton and Gorgias. :slight_smile: It’s clearing up for me. Jesus had to submit to the law just as every other Jewish male. The Jewish cleansing ritual using water is similar to what the muslims do before praying.


Christ became man to heal us. So for the waters to be made a means of healing for us, He entered into them. He purified the waters by being baptized, so now when we are baptized in those waters, we put on Christ. Similar to why he died, to descend to the dead and heal that place too. Also all of the “old Adam” was being buried in the water, and when Jesus came up out of the water, the Heavens that had been closed because of Adam are now opened to us through Christ.


Jesus was giving us an example. He did not need to be baptized, nor did the Blessed Virgin Mary, yet they both submitted to baptism.

It a manifestation of humility and obedience.


This can be looked upon.as the institution of the sacrament of baptism, performed by one.man to another, The Son, present, the Holy Spirit present in the descending of a dove that abides with the one baptised, and the Father present speaking- This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

All repeated in our own baptism and in the last word of Christ before ascending- 18And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. Matt 28

Like most good teachers, showing as much by example as by word

Peace, Again I say Peace+


:newidea: Wow! Thank you for another lightbulb moment.


One very important parallel is that between Elijah and Elisha. To expand on that, Malachi 4:5-6 states: “Behold, I will send you Eli′jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Elijah was to return to foretell the Messiah, before the Lord comes.

There are parallels between John and Elijah. For example, 2 Kings 8 reads, They answered him, “He wore a garment of haircloth, with a girdle of leather about his loins.” And he said, “It is Eli′jah the Tishbite.” See how John the Baptist is described in Matthew 3:4, Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. And Luke 1:17-18 reads, as the angel explains to Zechariah, John’s father, “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Eli′jah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.””

John the Baptist was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi 4:5-6. Now, 2 Kings 2 is too long to quote in full, but Elijah is traveling around with his student Elisha. It is at the Jordan (the river where John the Baptist later baptized) where Elijah is taken up to Heaven in a chariot, and Elisha succeeds Elijah and is given a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit. At the Jordan still, he calls upon the Lord, and the waters of the Jordan part, and he crosses to the other side. Elisha’s career as a prophet is without infirmity, longer, and has twice as many miracles, among other things.

It’s at the Jordan where John baptizes Jesus, and John’s career as a prophet begins to wane, and Jesus is on the ascent (career-wise). Where the Jordan parted for Elisha, the skies themselves part for Jesus.

I went on longer than I intended. There’s also another parallel here with Samuel and David and the voice that speaks when the skies part. Jesus is being annointed as the Messiah, the King of Israel, the Son of God (a title used for the Davidic kings). John himself was of priestly lineage, being descended from Aaron through both his mother and father.

Remember also that John the Baptist’s baptism is not the same as the Baptism of Jesus we use in our sacrament.



Umm… no.

The “baptism of John” is not equivalent to the “baptism of Jesus”. In Acts 19, we see that the baptism of John is only “for repentance” and that, therefore, the baptism of Jesus is necessary. In other words, the baptism of John does not institute the sacrament of baptism (which is the “baptism of Jesus”).


Could it be that what was imperfect, being incomplete, was taken and made complete and perfect by the presence of Christ? That Christ’s presence in the waters takes away sin from the world and substantialy changed baptism at this point, taking the old Jewish form and making it perfect and sacramental. Not that John and Christ baptism are the same, but that baptism is here revealed in perfect form, showing through baptism we now enter the body of Christ, Christ being still sacramentally present in the waters of baptism. Hence through our baptism we enter His perfect baptism.


No, that’s not what the Church teaches.

If that were the case, then we’d say that baptisms that John performed were sacramental and efficacious in remitting sins. However, sacraments flow from Jesus through His Church; and the Church didn’t come into existence until after Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension.

Moreover, if “Christ’s presence in the waters” took away “sin from the world”, then there’d be no need for His salvific sacrifice. That’s absolutely not what the Church teaches!

Finally, the baptism of John didn’t have the proper form of the sacrament of baptism, so it couldn’t validly impart the graces of the sacrament, even if the previous two objections weren’t present.

So, although we might see Christian baptism prefigured by John’s baptism of Christ, nevertheless sacramental baptism doesn’t begin to exist until after Christ’s Great Commission (“go and make disciples… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”) and the establishment of the Church at Pentecost.


The people recognized John as a prophet and his baptism of repentance as being from God and so God-fearing people, knowing that they were not without sin, went to be baptized by him as a preparation for the coming of the Messiah.

Because Jesus was without sin he technically didn’t need to receive a baptism of repentance. However, Jesus was not ready to admit publicly to his sinlessness and, not wanting to give people the wrong impression that he did not acknowledge John’s ministry or did not fear God or didn’t want the Messiah to come, he thought it best to be baptized by John and set a good example for others.


As he is GOD there was NO NEED.

This was leadership by example: John 3:5, to make evident its impo:thumbsup:rtance


Christ institutes all the sacraments prior to ascending, and it can be seen that in most cases this is accomplished by Him subjecting Himself to become the divine matter of the sacrament. This points to a divine and eternal establishment beyond the material events, that material events correspond to and flow from, and cannot undo.

Yes the Catholic Church is the only possesser on earth of all these sacraments in their fullness and with the authority to administer them in their entirety.

John’s baptism was efficacious, but not complete, because we know that it came from Heaven, which the chief priests were loath to admit, for later it was said that John was the least in heaven, and that he is Elijah, who must then have come from heaven.

The argument is not that the baptisms are the same, John’s was efficacious for the preparitory requirement of repentance, which Christ took and made perfect through His submission to and completion of, we could say sacrificially on His part as He is without sin.

As to remission of sins, we profess, one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, as in Christ takes away the sins of the world, not took away the sins of the world. As he continues to take away the sins of the world through all the sacraments. This does not invalidate Christ’s salvific sacrifice in any way, as Christ sacrifices himself for each of the sacraments in different ways. Here in submitting to baptism though He is without sin, sacrificially present.

That the baptism was made perfect here before the appearance of the church at Pentacost, is no less a greater mystery than that the Eucharist was divinely instituted before His sacrifice and the appearance of the church. That the commission and full form of baptism does not come until much later does not take away from this being the perfect and full sacrament of baptism the form points to.

If Christ being baptised was a prefigurement, what greater and more perfect event does it prefigure and point to? As only in Christ are all things made perfect.

The argument used that the sacraments flow out of the church, if similarly applied to the Eucharist would imply that the appostles did not partake of a sacrament at the last supper as the church had not yet been established, which is not the case as they fully did receive the body and blood of Christ before His salvific sacrifice and appearance of the church at Pentecost.

Yet once the church formed, then agreed all the sacraments flowed forth from her and continue to do so.



Hi, Michael!

Excellent conclusion!

I understood that you were intimating that Christ’s Baptism by John was a type for the Sacramental Baptism… but I truly enjoyed your concluding thoughts.

…which brings me to the Revelation that this all took place (God’s Salvific Plan) before the Creation of the world, as God chose us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1); so I fully concur with your thoughts.

Segue: I’ve noticed the spelling of your name… the Jehovah Witness wrongfully interpret this… do you mean to share that you understand is not an affirmative but an interrogative: “Who is Like God?” or are you assenting with their views that it means that an angel is similar to God?

Maran atha!



Peace Angel,
It was enough that a third fell from heaven following that same error, but it is better not to rejoice in this.
michaEl? is as much song of joy and adoration before the Lord, a rhetorical question that brings comfort and encouragement to take hope in God’s enduring love, the war cry of the commander of the heavenly host, a great lamentation of inconsolable longing of the soul to be with our Lord in eternal life that turns to the fullness of joy in the presence of the Bridegroom, rejoice Angel, for who is like our Lord?

Perhaps this is best left here for another thread, before going too O.T.



Hi, Michael!

Thank you for your response!

Maran atha!


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