“Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized.” Luke 3:21a NET

At first glance, one might think, from Luke’s words above, that the Lord Jesus just went along with the crowd, since everyone else was being baptized. But Luke is merely recording a fact, not registering a motivation.

In fact, Christ does what everyone else does, but with a significant difference. While they, supposedly, sought John’s baptism for repentance and forgiveness of sins, our sinless Lord requested baptism because his Father had commanded it. Though he personally did not need it, he wanted to do right in every way.

John’s objection to his baptism, read in the other gospel accounts, drives home the point. The last person who needed to be baptized was Jesus. But to obey the Father’s commands, the first in line was Jesus.

The divine manifestation of the Spirit in form of a dove, and the Father’s voice from heaven, indicate how different his obedience was from the rest. While John challenged those who came for baptism and chided them for wrong motives (see vv. 7ff), Christ received heaven’s approval of his actions. He, more than others, pleased the Father.

That he was praying (v. 21b) seems to be a sign that his heart was in the right place.

Just because everyone else is doing something, is no reason to do it. And no reason not to do it, if it is God’s will.

What do you think?

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