From Heaven With Love


Chapter 11—The Baptism of Jesus

This chapter is based on Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21, 22.

The message of the wilderness prophet reached the peasants in the remote hill towns, and the fisher folk by the sea, and in these simple, earnest hearts found its truest response. In Nazareth it was told in the carpentry shop that had been Joseph's, and One recognized the call. His time had come. He bade farewell to His mother and followed His countrymen who were flocking to the Jordan. HLv 65.1

Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins, yet they had had no direct acquaintance with each other. Providence had ordered this. No occasion was to be given for the charge that they had conspired together to support each other's claims. HLv 65.2

John was acquainted with the events that had marked the birth of Jesus, with the visit to Jerusalem in His boyhood and His sinless life. He believed Him to be the Messiah, but the fact that Jesus had remained in obscurity, giving no special evidence of His mission, gave occasion for doubt. The Baptist, however, waited in faith. It had been revealed to him that the Messiah would seek baptism at his hands, and that a sign of His divine character should then be given. HLv 65.3

When Jesus came to be baptized, John recognized in Him a purity of character never before perceived in any man. His very presence was awe-inspiring. This was in harmony with what had been revealed to John regarding the Messiah. Yet how could he, a sinner, baptize the Sinless One? Why should He who needed no repentance submit to a rite that was a confession of guilt to be washed away? HLv 65.4

As Jesus asked for baptism, John drew back, exclaiming, “‘I need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him.” RSV. HLv 66.1