According to Bible chronology, Jesus got baptized in the autumn of A.D. 27 (Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22) John the Baptist had possibly been preaching for about six months by then (Matthew 3:1).
Inasmuch as the baptism of Christ occurred in the autumn, it is reasonable to believe that it may have occurred during a festival. The autumn was the time of three important festivals: Rosh Hashanah, or the festival of the blowing of the trumpets (Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1); Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 16); and the Feast of Tabernacles (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:34). At the third festival all males were expected to appear before the Lord at Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14–17).
The path taken by Jews traveling between Galilee and Jerusalem lay through the Jordan valley (Luke 2:42), and if Jesus took this path in His journey to Jerusalem, He would pass near to where John was baptizing at Bethabara (John 1:28; Matthew 3:1).
It is possible that when Jesus heard the message proclaimed by John, He recognized His time to start His earthly ministry. This marked the end of His private life in Nazareth and the beginning of His three and a half years of public ministry, from the autumn of A.D. 27 to the spring of A.D. 31 (Acts 1:21, 22; 10:37–40).
In the autumn of A.D. 27, Jesus came to John at the Jordan to be baptized. But John refused saying, “‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’ But Jesus said to him, ‘permit it to be so now, for it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he allowed Him” (Matthew 3: 13-15).
The Holy Spirit was guiding both John and Jesus to this date. Though Jesus and John were related by blood, they had no direct acquaintance (John 1:31–33). John had heard of the events connected with the birth and childhood of Jesus and believed Him to be the Messiah. Also, it had been revealed to John that the Messiah would seek baptism at his hands, and that a sign would then be given identifying Him as the Messiah (John 1:31–33).
In His service,
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