Jesus Is Baptized


Jesus Is Baptized

People squeezed in closer to John as the crowd grew. Many people wanted to hear the powerful preaching of this man who lived in the desert and wore clothing made of camel hair. John taught them about repentance and baptism for remission of sins.

For months, people had been coming to the wilderness near the Jordan River to hear John. So many people asked him to baptize them that he soon became known as John the Baptist. John had received the Aaronic Priesthood when he was young, and it was his calling to prepare people to follow Jesus Christ.

When Jesus was about 30 years old, he left his home in Nazareth and walked many miles into the wilderness to find John. John was a relative of Jesus.

John was surprised to see Jesus coming toward him. John told the people around him, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John recognized Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the World.

Jesus asked John to baptize Him. Humbly, John questioned this because he knew that Jesus was holy and didn’t need to repent.

Jesus explained that He needed to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He meant that He needed to follow all of God’s commandments like everyone else. He also needed to show others what they should do. John then understood and agreed.

John and Jesus walked together into the water of the Jordan River. John baptized Jesus as he lowered Him under the water and brought Him up again.

When Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens opened. John the Baptist saw a dove that represented the Spirit of God. John heard a voice from heaven say, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

When John heard the voice of Heavenly Father, he knew for certain that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and that baptism was very important.

After He was baptized, Jesus now was ready to go to the world and say, “Come, follow me.”

Sign of the Dove

Joseph Smith said that the sign of the dove was a symbol chosen before the world began that something was right or true. Long before he baptized Jesus, John the Baptist was taught that the sign of the dove would be a witness to him that Jesus was the Messiah.

Immersion

The word baptism comes from a Greek word that means “immerse.” Immersion, or going completely under the water, symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection. The ordinance of baptism teaches us what Jesus has provided for us.

Jordan River

This large river flows south from the Sea of Galilee through a deep, hot desert valley to the Dead Sea. In some places the river is 90 feet (27 m) wide and can be 3–12 feet (1–3.5 m) deep.

Illustration by Dan Burr

Illustration by Jared Beckstrand