John came preaching a baptism of repentance. (Mat 3.1-2; Mark 1.4.) So when Jesus came to him, it made sense to John that Jesus should baptize him, but not the other way around. (Mat 3.14.) But there is something more fundamental to baptism than repentance, and that is identification. Baptism is where God identifies with His people, and they identify with Him, and in that order. For sinners to identify with God means repentance. But it does no good for sinners to identify with God unless God has first identified with them. God first identified with mankind in Jesus’ Incarnation. God became one of us, forever joining Himself to our bodied race. (Mat 1.18-20.) In Jesus’ baptism, God joined Himself to sinners. Jesus was saying in effect, “These sinners are My people, and everything I do, I do for them.” (Heb 2.11.) And this was well pleasing to the Father. (Mat 3.17.) No wonder Jesus told John to baptize Him “to fulfill all righteousness.” (Mat 3.15.) I hope you enjoy the sermon. Thanks for listening. –Alan Burrow
Click the play button to listen to 'The Baptism of Jesus' by Alan Burrow.