When was Jesus baptized by John?

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By BibleAsk Team


The age at which Jesus was baptized is not explicitly stated in the New Testament, leading to speculation and debate among scholars and theologians. However, by examining relevant passages in the Bible, along with historical and cultural context, we can discern clues that provide insight into the timing of Jesusbaptism.

The Baptism of Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17

The Gospel of Matthew provides an account of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. In Matthew 3:13-17 (NKJV), the Savior comes to John to be baptized, despite John’s initial reluctance, affirming the fulfillment of righteousness through this act. As Jesus comes up from the water, the heavens are opened, and the Spirit of God descends upon Him like a dove, while a voice from heaven declares, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This moment marks the inauguration of the savior’s public ministry and the affirmation of His identity as the Son of God.

Mark 1:9-11

Similarly, the Gospel of Mark records the baptism of the Son of God by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. In Mark 1:9-11 (NKJV), the Savior is baptized by John, and as He comes up from the water, He sees the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. A voice from heaven declares, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” This account aligns closely with Matthew’s narrative, emphasizing the divine affirmation of Jesus’ identity and mission.

Luke 3:21-22

The Gospel of Luke also recounts the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. In Luke 3:21-22 (NKJV), Christ is baptized by John, and as He prays, the heaven is opened, and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him in bodily form like a dove. A voice from heaven declares, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” This parallel account reinforces the divine affirmation of Christ identity and mission at the moment of His baptism.

John 1:29-34

The Gospel of John provides additional insight into the baptism of Jesus through the testimony of John the Baptist. In John 1:29-34, John identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world and affirms that He is the Son of God. John recounts seeing the Spirit descending upon Christ and remaining on Him, indicating His divine anointing and commission for ministry.

Interpreting the Age of Christ at Baptism

Historical and Cultural Context

While the New Testament does not specify the exact age of Christ at the time of His baptism, historical and cultural context can provide some insights. In Jewish culture, individuals typically began their public ministry or religious service around the age of thirty, which was considered the age of maturity and readiness for leadership and responsibility.

Luke 3:23

Although the Gospel of Luke does not explicitly state Christ’s age at the time of His baptism, it does provide a chronological marker in Luke 3:23 (NKJV), which states, “Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli.” This verse suggests that the Savior began His ministry around the age of thirty, which aligns with Jewish customs and traditions regarding the initiation of public ministry.

Did Christ Need to Get Baptized?

Christ did not need to get baptized for He was sinless (2 Corinthians 5:21). He got baptized to be our example (Matthew 3:15). From the example of Christ, we learn that no person should be baptized unless he knows the truth of God, believes it, has repented, and has experienced conversion. The Bible says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Therefore, infant baptism is not Biblical. No infant can qualify for baptism. To baptize babies is to go against what the Bible teaches. Infants can be dedicated to God at birth just as Jesus was dedicated to God by Mary and Joseph at the temple (Luke 2:21-24).

Conclusion

While the New Testament does not explicitly state the age of Christ at the time of His baptism, it provides accounts of this significant event in His life and ministry. Through the narratives in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we witness the divine affirmation of Christ’s identity as the Son of God and the inauguration of His public ministry. While historical and cultural context suggests that Christ was likely around thirty years old at the time of His baptism, the emphasis of the biblical accounts is not on His age but on the divine commissioning and empowerment for His mission on earth. As believers, we look to the baptism of Christ as a pivotal moment in His earthly ministry, affirming His identity, purpose, and authority as the Son of God and Savior of the world.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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