Revealing The Significance Of John The Baptist As The One Who Baptized Jesus

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Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

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Most of us have been baptized, ushering us into Christianity. It is often done through immersion in water[1], as mentioned in Romans 6:3–4. Depending on the tradition followed or the situation, we can also perform it by pouring or sprinkling.

Baptism isn’t only reserved for adults but also for children. Sometimes called christening, it is possible if their parents or guardians are people of faith. Some traditionalists may require individuals to profess their faith before baptism, while others would rather wait until age.

Furthermore, there are multiple other instances throughout the New Testament records where believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit after declaring their faith in Jesus. The Ethiopian eunuch’s story from Acts 8:26–40 and Saul’s (later known as Paul) narrated in Acts 9:1–19 are examples of baptism by the Holy Spirit.

Who Baptized Jesus In The Bible?

Jesus traveled from Galilee to Jordan to receive his baptism from John.

— Matthew 3:13

In the Bible, John performed the baptism of Jesus Christ. This account suggests that it was indeed John who baptized Jesus. When Jesus approaches John, righteousness is displayed. John objected to baptizing Jesus. Although John insisted that the Lord should baptize him, Jesus answered, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).

Historical evidence also points toward Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. The historian Flavius Josephus wrote about John’s baptism rituals and how he would perform them for those who wished to repent of their sins.

Josephus also mentioned that John significantly impacted Judea during his time and drew large crowds due to his teachings and baptisms. This belief aligns with biblical accounts, where it is stated that John baptized many people in the Jordan River, including Jesus.

a painting portraying jesus and john the baptist standing at the jordan river

Who Was John the Baptist?

In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea.

Matthew 3:1

John the Baptist was a miraculous Jewish preacher who lived in the first century AD. John, who grew up with faithful parents devoted to God, had a deep commitment to serving the Lord.

Little is known about his upbringing, but it is believed that he went into the wilderness to prepare for his ministry following his dedication to God. It is possible that this was after the passing of his older parents or simply as a time for spiritual connection and preparation.

Despite being perceived as unconventional, John was a devoted follower of Jesus. He lived in the wilderness and relied entirely on God, baptizing people in the Jordan River, where they confessed their sins (Matthew 3:5–6).

God chose John to introduce Jesus to the whole earth as the Messiah. John often prepared for Christ’s arrival ”in the Holy Spirit and power of Elijah” with his preaching of repentance at the Jordan River.

John lived in service to God. He also did not claim himself but reminded us about our need for repentance and hope.

  • He was born in Hebron, Judea.
  • He was the son of Zechariah, a priest, and Elizabeth, a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  • He was a wilderness preacher who lived on locusts and wild honey.
  • He baptized many people in the Jordan River as a mark of repentance.
  • He proclaimed that Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Herod Antipas imprisoned and beheaded him.
  • He is a major prophet in Christianity, Islam, and other religions.

What Did John Do To Baptize Someone?

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah.

— Matthew 3:2

John the Baptist spread a powerful message of repentance as he baptized people in the Jordan River, calling on them to come and confess their sins. Immersing them in the water symbolized their new life in Christ. It was no mere ritual purification but a baptism of repentance.

A public act of faith showed that individuals were turning away from their past lives and embracing a new journey with God. With this mission, John prepared the way for the baptism of Jesus and his arrival to bring about the new covenant between man and God. This incident would open a path for all seeking his grace to enjoy eternal salvation. Here are some relevant facts about baptism:

  • In some denominations and traditions, baptism is seen as a sacrament, an outward sign of inward grace. This process means that, through being baptized, believers receive spiritual blessings and graces from God.
  • Immersing yourself in water during baptism symbolizes a beautiful transformation: burying your old self with Christ and rising to a new life, as shared in Romans 6:3–4.
  • Not only is baptism an experience for adults, but families also choose to christen their children when they wish to share the joyous faith journey. Pouring and sprinkling are also used in the baptism.

Why Was Jesus Baptized By John?

John Prepared The Way For Jesus

The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly before Israel.

Luke 1:80

John the Baptist was a crucial part of Jesus’ life, as he baptized him to prepare his way as the Messiah. Jesus was born in human form with a mission from heaven implanted within his being.

Although he was a man, it was clear that he had something more. He made no secret of it to those closest to him and chose John as his precursor. After all, God made humans in his image. When Jesus Christ stepped into the world as the beloved Son of God, people could acknowledge his radiance and wisdom, as he shared certain character traits with God. He was ushered in as the Messiah who would remove the world’s sins.

To Fulfill The Prophecy

Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my spirit upon him, and he will bring justice to the nations.

Isaiah 42:1

The Bible is a book of prophecy that primarily reveals the arrival and incarnation of Jesus to take away the world’s sins. His embodiment ushered in redemption and salvation for all of humanity.

John the Baptist fulfilled the baptism of Jesus to realize the Bible’s pivotal prophecy that God’s Messiah would come and be made in His image. By accepting this act, Jesus showed his willingness to take on the character of God and ultimately sacrifice himself for our sake.

To Identify Believers In Christ

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too might live a new life.

Romans 6:3–4

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a powerful symbol and life-changing event of being born again in Christ. It is an outward demonstration of joining Jesus’ journey from death to resurrection and the vitality this brings to our lives. Through the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, we are sworn into union with God, joyfully proclaiming our faith in Jesus.

By entering this divine covenant, we not only join a fellowship of believers seeking to inspire and uplift one another through discussion, solidarity, and prayer (Acts 2:41–42), but also receive the promise of spiritual adoption into His family.

What Did God Say When Jesus Was Baptized By John?

And as soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water, and behold, he saw the heavens opened before him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:16–17

During the baptism of Jesus, a voice was heard from heaven when the Lord came up from the water. The voice belonged to God, descending like a dove. God said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” God expressed His love for Jesus and affirmed their unique relationship.

Moreover, God expressed his pleasure with Jesus, who indicated that He had fulfilled His purpose faithfully and aligned with God’s will. It affirmed Jesus’ righteousness, purity, and divine mission ahead of him.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit confirmed Jesus’ divine identity, highlighting his unique relationship with God. It marked a momentous event when the Holy Spirit descended on earth. God promised the long-awaited Messiah, and He authenticated Him. It also validated his ministry, serving as a public declaration of authority.

an opulent painting referencing the day jesus was baptized at the jordan river


Jesus’ baptism is a momentous, sacred, and fundamental ceremony for many faith groups and religions. It is a symbolic act of purification and initiation into a faith community. This powerful ceremony has been practiced for centuries and holds immense importance for believers.

Baptism is an act of obedience and a resolution for repentance, but it does not save us. Salvation is a result of faith in Jesus Christ alone. But baptism is a crucial step in our pursuit as followers of Christ and in having the opportunity to gain eternal life.

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