A Series of Answers to Common Questions
According to the Bible, Johns baptism was for the forgiveness of sins (cf. Matthew 3:6, 11; Luke 3:1-3; Acts 19:4). All three synoptics state that Jesus came to be baptized by John (cf. Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). Doesnt this prove that Jesus was a sinner also?(1)
For those interested in the short answer to this question please skip to the end.
Jesus the Human Appearance of Yahweh God
What makes this question rather interesting is that it ignores the very immediate context of these specific passages which depict Jesus as the Divine Son of God, the human appearance, the very incarnation of God. For example, here is what we discover when we read what the rest of Luke 3 says concerning the Lord Jesus:
"The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them." Luke 3:15-18
John says that Christ is more powerful than he and that he is not worthy to be his slave. (It was the function of slaves to untie the sandals of their master or guests and provide water to wash their feet.)
John further states that Christ will baptize individuals with/in the Holy Spirit and fire, meaning that Christ will either save or bring judgement upon a person, all of which depends on ones response to Jesus, i.e. will s/he repent and believe or reject and continue in disbelief? John also tells us that Christ has his winnowing fork in his hand in order to separate believers (wheat) from the unbelievers (chaff), so as to preserve the one and burn the other with unquenchable (or eternal) fire.
All of these works, which John ascribes to Jesus, are functions that the OT says will be carried out by Yahweh.
For instance, it is Yahweh who baptizes or immerses people in the Holy Spirit:
For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God. Ezekiel 36:24-28
"Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days." Joel 2:27-29
Yahweh also has a winnowing fork and will judge the wicked, burning them with unquenchable fire:
"The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" Isaiah 33:14
"See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD. Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the midst of those who eat the flesh of pigs and rats and other abominable thingsthey will meet their end together, declares the LORD. And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me, declares the LORD, so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me, says the LORD. And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind." Isaiah 66:15-19, 22-24
"If you will return, O Israel, return to me, declares the LORD. If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, "As surely as the LORD lives," then the nations will be blessed by him and in him they will glory. This is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done burn with no one to quench it." Jeremiah 4:1-4; cf. 21:12
"Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Who will mourn for you? Who will stop to ask how you are? You have rejected me, declares the LORD. You keep on backsliding. So I will lay hands on you and destroy you; I can no longer show compassion. I will winnow them with a winnowing fork at the city gates of the land. I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people, for they have not changed their ways I will enslave you to your enemies in a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire that will burn against you." Jeremiah 15:5-7, 14; cf. Zephaniah 3
Jesus himself basically claimed to be Yahweh when he applied the following OT text to John the Baptist:
"After John's messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you."" Luke 7:24-27 cf. Matthew 11:10
The Lord Jesus identifies John as the messenger spoken of in Malachi 3:1. The Lord wasnt the only author who connected Johns ministry with Malachi 3:1:
"The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way' - 'a voice of one calling in the desert, "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him." And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins." Mark 1:1-4
Mark states that John came to fulfill the words of Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3. Luke himself says (as does Matthew) that John is the one referred to in Isaiah 40:3(-5):
"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesarwhen Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: A voice of one calling in the desert, "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation."" Luke 3:1-6; Matthew 3:1-3
"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him," Luke 1:11-17, 76
As does the Apostle John, being in complete agreement with all three Synoptic Gospels at this point:
"John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, I am the voice of one calling in the desert, "Make straight the way for the Lord."" John 1:23
As the readers can clearly see all of the above verses are using the language found in Malachi 3:1 (as well as 4:5-6) and Isaiah 40:3-5 to describe Johns ministry. The astonishing part about all of this is that when we look at these specific OT texts we see that Johns role was to prepare the people for the manifestation, the very appearing of Yahweh God Almighty! Here are the verses in question along with some of their immediate context:
"A voice of one calling: In the desert prepare the way for Yahweh; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of Yahweh will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken." Isaiah 40:3-5
"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly THE LORD (Ha Adon) you are seeking will come to HIS TEMPLE; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come, says the Yahweh of Hosts." Malachi 3:1
An important note concerning the word Ha Adon: This phrase is never used for anyone other than Yahweh. Thus, what these specific OT passages are saying is that Yahweh will come and enter his temple, and that all mankind will see Yahwehs Glory.
Amazingly, the One for whom John came to prepare the way was the Lord Jesus Christ, which means that Christ is the human appearance of Yahweh God! To put it simply, by identifying John as the messenger of Malachi 3:1 and with the voice of Isaiah 40:3 who cries out in the wilderness the NT writers (along with the Lord Jesus) were basically proclaiming that Christ is the very Lord that was coming to his very own temple, being the visible manifestation of the glory of Yahweh!
To put this in the form of a syllogism,
Jesus the Holy Son of God
Even though the above data sufficiently proves that Jesus wasnt baptized because he was a sinner there is a lot more we can say to solidify this point. For instance, right after Jesus baptism the Father bears witness on behalf of his Son:
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 3:21-22
Christ is the beloved Son with whom the Father is very pleased!
Moreover, according to the angel Gabriel Jesuss virginal conception and birth by the Holy Spirit is a Divine sign, so to speak, a proof from God that Christ is his holy Son:
"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. And Mary said to the angel, How will this be, since I am a virgin? And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God." Luke 1:26-35
Here, the angel alludes to the following Messianic text:
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:6-7
The child who rules on Davids throne is none other than the Mighty God, a title used by Isaiah for Yahweh in the very next chapter:
"In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God." Isaiah 10:20-21
And here is how certain rabbinic sources interpreted Isaiah 9:6:
The prophet saith to the house of David, A child has been born to us, a son has been given to us; and he has taken the law upon himself to keep it, and his name has been called from of old, Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, He who lives forever, the Anointed One (or Messiah), in whose days peace shall increase upon us. (The Targum of Isaiah, J.F. Stenning, Editor and Translator [Oxford: Clarendon], p. 32; bold emphasis ours)
Another explanation: He said to him: I have yet to raise up the Messiah of whom it is written, For a child is born to us (Isa. IX, 5). (Midrash Rabbah Deuteronomy, Rabbi H. Freedman and Maurice Simon, Editors; Rev. Dr. J. Rabbinowitz, Translator [London: Soncino Press], I.20, p. 20)
The preceding only further confirms that the Messiah Jesus is God Almighty and therefore absolutely sinless and pure.
In fact, all throughout the NT Jesus is called the Holy and Righteousness One:
"In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you arethe Holy One of God!" Luke 4:33-34
"You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the Author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this." Acts 3:14-15
"Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him" Acts 7:52
"Then he said: The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth." Acts 22:14
Notice that Jesus is not only the Holy and Righteous One, but also the Author of Life, an implicit echo of what the Apostle John wrote in his prologue:
"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men." John 1:3-4
Jesus The Savior and Forgiver of Sinners
As if the foregoing wasnt enough to silence the lie that Jesus was baptized because he knew he was a sinner (God forbid such blasphemy!) the Gospels expressly teach that Christ came to save sinners from their sins:
"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:18-21
Christ even has the ability to forgives sins:
"When Jesus saw their faith, he said, Friend, your sins are forgiven. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone? Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.... He said to the paralyzed man, I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home. Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, We have seen remarkable things today." Luke 5:20-26; cf. Matthew 9:1-13
Once again, Jesus exhibits an ability and performs functions which the OT ascribes to Yahweh, such as,
Nor was this the only incident where the Lord Jesus forgave sins committed against God:
"One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said to him, Simon, I have something to say to you. And he answered, What is it, Teacher? A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more? Simon answered, The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more. And he said to him, You have judged rightly. Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave ME no water for my feet, but she has wet MY feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave ME no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss MY feet. You did not anoint MY head with oil, but she has anointed MY feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little. And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven. Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, Who is this, who even forgives sins? And he said to the woman, Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:36-50
In this pericope Christ forgave the womans offenses against God because she had shown Jesus great love. Thus, to love Jesus is to love God since he happens to be God, which explains why he can forgive sins.
Jesus further stated that he would lay his life down as a ransom for sinners:
"just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take and eat; this is my body. Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:26-28
Yet the only way for Christ to be able to ransom sinners by his death is if he was absolutely sinless since, according to the OT, a transgressor cannot offer up his life as atonement for others. Only God can ransom a persons life from the grave:
"No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him- the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough- that he should live on forever and not see decay Like sheep they are destined for the grave, and death will feed on them. The upright will rule over them in the morning; their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah" Psalm 49:7-9, 14-15
Jesus also says that forgiveness of sins comes through believing in his name:
"He said to them, This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:44-47
"Then I asked, Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, the Lord replied. Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." Acts 26:15-18
In light of all of this can there be any doubt that Jesus wasnt getting baptized because he was a sinner? Are Muslims that desperate that they need to distort passages from their immediate and overall contexts in order to insult and blaspheme the Lord Jesus by trying to depict him as something he is not, a sinner?
In fact, this explains why John was rather hesitant to baptize Jesus since he knew that the One approaching him was the sinless Lamb of God who came to save the world:
"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? Jesus replied, Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness. Then John consented." Matthew 3:13-15
"I baptize with water, John replied, but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, "A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me." I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel. Then John gave this testimony: I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit." I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." John 1:26, 29-34
With the foregoing in mind Jesus response to John that his baptism was necessary in order to fulfill all righteousness provides the reason, the explanation for his insisting that he get baptized. Christ was giving his sanction that Johns baptism was part of the Divine decree, being Gods will. In other words, it was proper that the sinless Son of God should be set apart by his forerunner, thereby showing his connection with him, as well as giving his approval to what John was doing. Luke himself implies that this was one of the reasons why Christ chose to be baptized since this is what he says concerning those Pharisees who refused to go to John to get baptized:
"All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus' words, acknowledged that God's way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John." Luke 7:29-30
Christs baptism was also for the purpose of receiving a testimony from heaven itself, and from John, that he was the unique Son of God and the Messiah, before entering into his public ministry. More on this in the next section.
It was to further set an example to his followers, as well as to identify with the very people he had come to save.
Jesus Christ Our Eternal High Priest
As we noted earlier Jesus baptism was preparatory for his Divine mission, one which included his role as High Priest who atones for his people. As the book of Hebrews so wonderfully puts it:
"Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess." Hebrews 3:1
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we areyet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16
"For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our needone who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever." Hebrews 7:14-16, 23-28; cf. 8-10
It should be kept in mind that, according to the OT, the high priests would generally assume their office in the Tabernacle/Temple after the age of thirty, right after being washed and anointed with oil (an act which symbolized the anointing that comes from the Holy Spirit):
"This is what you are to do to consecrate them, so they may serve me as priests: Take a young bull and two rams without defect. And from fine wheat flour, without yeast, make bread, and cakes mixed with oil, and wafers spread with oil. Put them in a basket and present them in italong with the bull and the two rams. Then bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water. Take the garments and dress Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him by its skillfully woven waistband. Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred diadem to the turban. Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics and put headbands on them. Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance. In this way you shall ordain Aaron and his sons Aaron's sacred garments will belong to his descendants so that they can be anointed and ordained in them. 30 The son who succeeds him as priest and comes to the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place is to wear them seven days So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God." Exodus 29:1-9, 29, 44-46
"Moses, Aaron and the leaders of the community counted the Kohathites by their clans and families. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting, counted by clans, were 2,750. This was the total of all those in the Kohathite clans who served in the Tent of Meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them according to the LORD's command through Moses." Numbers 4:34-37; cf. vv. 3, 43
With the foregoing in perspective it shouldnt come as a surprise that Jesus was thirty years old when he got baptized ("washed") in water, after which he began his public ministry:
"When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph," Luke 3:21-23
The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord signified Gods anointing him to begin his priestly and prophetic ministry:
"You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." Acts 10:36-38
Hence, what could be a more befitting way for the Lord Jesus to assume his priestly role than to have another priest, namely John (being a Levite himself and from a priestly order cf. Luke 1:5-25), initiate him into his office?
The reason why Christ got baptized wasnt because he was a sinner, far from it. He was baptized for the purpose of having God the Father testify publicly that he is the Divine, unique Son of God and the Messiah. He also did it as an example to his followers, as well as to identify with the very sinners he had come to save. Moreover, his baptism was necessary in order to inaugurate his public ministry, one which included his role as Gods High Priest who atones for the sins of the people.
Jesus Christ is the sinless and matchless Lord to the glory of God the Father forever and ever. Amen!
(1) This particular objection was adapted from this Muslim polemic.
It is rather unfortunate that this Muslim neophyte will go to desperate measures to assail the absolute purity and sinlessness of the Lord Jesus, all the while seeking to justify the gross wickedness of his false prophet. The very fact that he has to quote such a text in the first place is an indication of just how desperate he truly is in trying to find something to impugn the perfect character of the Lord Jesus.
Can you imagine what this neophyte would do if he could find Biblical statements that said Jesus stole his adopted sons wife in order to marry her, thereby committing adultery, or that he and his followers raped married captives that they took from people whom they murdered, or that Jesus married a minor who was nine years old, all of which his rather immoral prophet did? Why, he would have a field day with Christians, and yet when we document that these are the very same acts that his false prophet committed this same neophyte will go out of his way to condone such vile and filthy deeds!
A Series of Answers to Common Questions
Answering Islam Home Page