"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John [see John The Baptist], to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying, "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 fulfil 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; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:13-17 RSV)

The English word baptize is derived from the original Greek word of the New Testament which literally meant to immerse in water. As the Scriptures above make clear, Jesus Christ considered baptism to be an important act, so much so that He insisted on it when John hesitated to baptize Him. Jesus' baptism was then done in The Jordan River, perhaps not far from the place shown in the photograph at right.

Jesus' baptism was of course done solely to set an example for the repentant, since He had absolutely nothing to repent of, and absolutely no sins to be forgiven. But why is baptism in water important? Why wouldn't Jesus take "no" for answer, even with Himself?

An Act Of Sincere Repentance

Those who repented were always baptized in water:

Water Baptism and The Holy Spirit

With repentance and baptism comes The Holy Spirit:

A Symbol Death, Burial and Resurrection

Baptism symbolizes the death (of the old self, by repentance), burial (by immersion in the water) and resurrection (the coming up out from under the water) to those who repent:

An Important Step Toward Salvation

Jesus insisted upon water baptism for Himself. Christians should do no less for themselves:

Fact Finder: What was one of the very first acts of repentance done by hostile Saul, who later became the apostle Paul?
Acts 9:18
See also On The Road To Damascus

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