the time for Christ's public ministry had come, His first act was to go
to the river Jordan, and be baptized by John the Baptist.
John had been sent to prepare the way for
the Saviour. He had preached in the wilderness, saying:
"The kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:15.
Multitudes flocked to hear him. Many were
convicted of their sins, and were baptized by him in the Jordan.
God had made known to John that some day
the Messiah would come to him and ask to be baptized. He had also
promised that a sign should be given him, so that he might know who it
When Jesus came, John saw in His face
such signs of His holy life, that he forbade Him, saying: "I have need
to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?
"And Jesus answering said unto him,
Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all
righteousness." Matthew 3:14,15.
And as He said this, there was seen upon
His face the same heavenly light that Simeon had beheld.
So John led the Saviour down into the
waters of the beautiful Jordan, and there he baptized Him in the sight
of all the people.
Jesus was not baptized to show repentance
for His own sins; for He had never sinned. He did it to set an example
When He came up out of the water, He
kneeled on the riverbank, and prayed. Then the heavens were opened,
beams of glory streamed forth, "and He saw the Spirit of God descending
like a dove, and lighting upon Him." Matthew 3:16.
His face and form were all aglow with the
light of the glory of God. And from Heaven the voice of God was heard
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased." Matthew 3:16,17.
The glory that rested upon Christ was a
pledge of the love of God for us. The Saviour came as our example; and
just as surely as God heard His prayer, He will hear ours.
The most needy, the most sinful, the most
despised, may find access to the Father. When we come to Him in Jesus'
name, the voice which spoke to Jesus speaks to us, saying; "This is My
beloved child, in whom I am well pleased."