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Why Jesus Was Baptized

Why was Jesus baptized?

Here's an article that caught my eye, and seems like a good attempt, from a Catholic perspective, to explain just why Jesus was baptised. As we know, Jesus was without sin; the Catholic--and Christian--concept of water baptism is as a ritualistic cleansing of the sin from the believer's soul and the rebrth of that soul into communion with God. So, this article is an understandable treatise on the mystery of it all. The author tells us that the reason is simple...and complex.

Click to read the entire article by MSGR. JOSEPH PRIOR

From the perspective of Urantia Book readers, the simplicity of Jesus' decision to submit to John's baptism in the Jordan far outweighs any overarching complexity of it, even though we do learn that it was truly a spiritually significant event in the earth life of Jesus:

136:2.7 This day of baptism ended the purely human life of Jesus. The divine Son has found his Father, the Universal Father has found his incarnated Son, and they speak the one to the other.

Jesus is baptized

The Urantia Book teaches us that Jesus was baptized on Monday, January 14, A.D. 26.

From The Urantia Book:

135:8.4 John had just begun baptizing the candidates for the day. Scores of repentants were standing in line awaiting their turn when Jesus and his two brothers took up their positions in this line of earnest men and women who had become believers in John's preaching of the coming kingdom. John had been inquiring about Jesus of Zebedee's sons. He had heard of Jesus' remarks concerning his preaching, and he was day by day expecting to see him arrive on the scene, but he had not expected to greet him in the line of baptismal candidates.
Being engrossed with the details of rapidly baptizing such a large number of converts, John did not look up to see Jesus until the Son of Man stood in his immediate presence. When John recognized Jesus, the ceremonies were halted for a moment while he greeted his cousin in the flesh and asked, "But why do you come down into the water to greet me?" And Jesus answered, "To be subject to your baptism." John replied: "But I have need to be baptized by you. Why do you come to me?" And Jesus whispered to John: "Bear with me now, for it becomes us to set this example for my brothers standing here with me, and that the people may know that my hour has come."
There was a tone of finality and authority in Jesus' voice. John was atremble with emotion as he made ready to baptize Jesus of Nazareth in the Jordan at noon on Monday, January 14, A.D. 26. Thus did John baptize Jesus and his two brothers James and Jude. And when John had baptized these three, he dismissed the others for the day, announcing that he would resume baptisms at noon the next day. As the people were departing, the four men still standing in the water heard a strange sound, and presently there appeared for a moment an apparition immediately over the head of Jesus, and they heard a voice saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." A great change came over the countenance of Jesus, and coming up out of the water in silence he took leave of them, going toward the hills to the east. And no man saw Jesus again for forty days.

And so, we see, from this passage that Jesus' initial reason for submitting to baptism was simple. He said to John:

"Bear with me now, for it becomes us to set this example for my brothers standing here with me, and that the people may know that my hour has come."

Jesus did not repent of anything

Further, we learn that:

136:2.6 When Jesus was baptized, he repented of no misdeeds; he made no confession of sin. His was the baptism of consecration to the performance of the will of the heavenly Father. At his baptism he heard the unmistakable call of his Father, the final summons to be about his Father's business, and he went away into private seclusion for forty days to think over these manifold problems. In thus retiring for a season from active personality contact with his earthly associates, Jesus, as he was and on Urantia, was following the very procedure that obtains on the morontia worlds whenever an ascending mortal fuses with the inner presence of the Universal Father.
This day of baptism ended the purely human life of Jesus. The divine Son has found his Father, the Universal Father has found his incarnated Son, and they speak the one to the other.

How Jesus' teachings differed from John's

Jesus never taught the doctrine of original sin; he never preached that man needed this kind of outward ritual to cleanse his soul. But, the thrust of John's message was to REPENT!...:

136:0.2 When John preached the coming kingdom, the burden of his message was: Repent! flee from the wrath to come. When Jesus began to preach, there remained the exhortation to repentance, but such a message was always followed by the gospel, the good tidings of the joy and liberty of the new kingdom.
135:6.4 There was still another and a new feature about the work of this Nazarite preacher: He baptized every one of his believers in the Jordan "for the remission of sins." Although baptism was not a new ceremony among the Jews, they had never seen it employed as John now made use of it. It had long been the practice thus to baptize the gentile proselytes into the fellowship of the outer court of the temple, but never had the Jews themselves been asked to submit to the baptism of repentance. Only fifteen months intervened between the time John began to preach and baptize and his arrest and imprisonment at the instigation of Herod Antipas, but in this short time he baptized considerably over one hundred thousand penitents.

Even though Jesus did not intend to teach the doctrine of original sin, he also had no intention of thwarting John's work; and this is one of the main reasons that he submitted to baptism. He wanted a smooth transition from the work of John to his own public ministry, which was so soon to be inaugurated. To submit to John's baptism would give onlookers the assurance that Jesus was in alignment with John's basic teachings.

Click to read more about John, Jesus, and the baptism in the Jordan

Click to read an in-depth exploration of Jesus' baptism, and the 40 days that Jesus spent in isolation following that pivotal event.

Link to External Source Article

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