The Baptism of Jesus: Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus was baptized by a prophet named John, commonly referred to as “John the Baptist.” The New Testament provides an account of the baptism of Jesus and the miraculous events surrounding it:

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life. And though the Christian world disagrees on how baptism is to be performed, all Christians believe it to be a sacrament of some kind, a cleansing of sin, or a commitment to God. Why would Jesus then, the very Son of God, a perfect man, need baptism?

The Book of Mormon, an additional book of scripture read by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains some valuable insight into this question. Here is an excerpt:

4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.

5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!

6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?

7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. —2 Nephi 31:4-7

We learn from these scriptures that Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, baptism is a commandment, and Jesus was baptized to obey the commandments of God.

Video of the Baptism of Jesus

Please enjoy this Bible video of the baptism of Jesus produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is based off of the verses in Matthew quoted in this post.

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