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If Jesus Was Without Sin, Then Why Did He Get Baptized by John the Baptist?

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Baptism is a representation of sinners "dying" and being "resurrected" into a redeemed life. Jesus was perfect in every way, so why did he get baptized?


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To this day, as a 30-something-year-old Christian woman, I am still in awe of Christ’s cleansing power. I don’t think there will ever come a day when I’m not in awe of the ultimate sacrifice He made for us. When I repent of my sins, I’m reminded that He took my sins upon Himself and not only did He take upon my sins but the sins of the human race, too. 

We are truly fortunate.

Jesus, the only one without sin, has the power to wipe our slate clean, yet some may wonder why sinless Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.

One of the many beautiful parts of Jesus is His selflessness. He took on a great deal of responsibility, consequence and burden, and He did it all for us. He didn’t have to, but He did because He loves us so much—that love was shown in His decision to be baptized by John the Baptist. Jesus’ baptism was an action based on His ministry as the promised Messiah—“the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). John the Baptist facilitated Jesus in fulfilling His Father’s plan—for Jesus to not just live on this earth but to demonstrate.

The Old Testament states that a redeemer would come, a savior, and His name would be Jesus. Jesus became the bearer of our sins, and although He is the only perfect person, He was baptized by John the Baptist as an example for us.

At that time, Jesus was set to embark on His great work, so it only seemed right to choose John to baptize Him, as John had once called people to repent in preparation for their Messiah: “A voice of one calling, ‘In the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord; making straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3).

By baptizing Jesus, John was formally declaring that Jesus is the one they had been waiting for, the Son of God: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

Jesus didn’t have to die, nor did He have to be baptized. Instead, He chose these routes because He is the definition of love and selflessness. Jesus is the prime example of practicing what you preach. As a mom of two, I’ll admit I’m a subpar example (at times) of practicing what you preach. I tell my kids they must limit their sweets because it’s not good for their bodies or teeth, yet I munch away on cookies and candy. I tell my kids they are not permitted to sit in front of the television all day, yet I welcome a quality binge session of my favorite tv shows. My point is, I’m not perfect, but I know someone who is—Jesus Christ. Jesus not only seeks to share, but He seeks to save, forgive, love and demonstrate, without exception.